This is the writing prompt that changed my life forever.
I’ve always loved writing and reading, especially fantasy, mysteries, horror, and historical fiction focused on Robin Hood. I’ve written a few things before, but nothing I felt confident enough to publish beyond giving stories as gifts to my family and close friends and posts to Wattpad that I always took down after a while.
I’m a very self-conscious person, and I always worry about what people will think of me. I blame middle school bullies. Kids going through puberty are the worst!
Besides sharing copies with my family and friends, and those few posts to Wattpad that quickly came back down, I was never confident to publish my works.
Then, I stumbled across a Wattpad writing contest featuring that simple prompt.
I was feeling really good at the time I found it. It was the holidays. I was surrounded by family. I had recently finished therapy sessions that taught me a lot about dealing with the anxiety of not being perfect and liked (leftovers from those middle school bullies). Also, that prompt simply sounded fun. On a whim, I said, “What the hell?! I’ll try!”
So, I started writing.
Two stories were born from that one, simple holiday-themed idea: Blood Moon and All That Glitters.
Blood Moon is the story of a woman who is attacked by a werewolf, and things get terrifying around Christmas. All that Glitters in the tale of a young woman who gets a haunted music box for Christmas and must deal with it before it drives her mad.
I submitted both stories. All that Glitters won! Besides Blood Moon, there was only one other entry, but I didn’t focus on that part. I was still thrilled. Something I had written had won a contest! Someone out there in internet land liked what I had written, and I’d had such fun creating those scary stories.
I wanted to write more. So I did. I wrote another short story. I started work on my first full-length horror novel. It was fun creating scary stuff. I realized I wanted more people to see my work. If one person had enjoyed those stories, maybe more would like them too.
I started editing as best I could. Then, I set up a Kindle Direct Publishing account and got to work. I created my covers, wrote the best blurbs I could, and I self-published my first book: Darkness and Bloodshed. A collection of my three first short scary stories.
I was so nervous, but I was determined to get it out there.
It’s not perfect. I did all the editing and designing. There are probably still a few typos and errors. It’s a self-published book. The cover is a simple design I made myself with Amazon’s cover creator. But it’s mine. I created something. And perfect or not, those stories are something I’m proud of.
It’s all thanks to one person’s prompts. Without that one simple idea to write scary Christmas stories, I would never have realized just how much I love writing horror. Without seeing that prompt, without that one person saying that they liked my stories, I might have never have dared to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming a published author.
I dedicated my book to them. I’ve never met that Wattpad writer, but know I like them.
Blood Moon and All that Glitters are my firstborn literary twins. Even as I move on to new projects, new stories, new novels, these two will hold a special place in my heart. Even if I never make a lot of money writing and publishing, even if only a few people read and enjoy my work, I’ll be happy. It’s the greatest honor as a writer I can think of. Knowing something I wrote brought a little spooky fun into someone else’s life.
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About the Author – Lennie Grace
Lennie Grace writes horror short stories and novels and looks forward to sharing her love all things creepy and spooky with the world. She works two jobs now, but someday hopes to write full time.
Lennie loves to write fiction that focuses on dark and creepy things, but is extremely nice and non-creepy in real life.
She is a lover of books, reading, and writing. She enjoys reading a little bit of everything, but really likes horror, mysteries & thrillers, fantasy and manga. Along with reading and writing she also loves animals, coffee, pizza, and all things cute and cuddly.
She lives in Oklahoma in a home filled with books and family members, both human and furry.
here’s a link to her facebook page, if anyone wants to follow her! 😀
Links to Her Books: Amazon
That is a pretty awesome story. And its so true! I’m not a writer, but a singer, and I think it carries over into other art forms as well. It only takes one person handing you that song to sing or that prompt to write to get you started to discover that spark that gets you going. I could talk on and on about my journey and passion from the very beginning to now but overall, getting from that beginning spot to the place where we share our art with other people and it actually sparks something in them? There is nothing more satisfying!
Every artist has that moment, that “I bet I could do that.” It is why her story resonates so well, plus her enthusiasm! I am so greatful she wrote it ll down.