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How Reading Has Changed my Life

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How Reading Has Changed my Life

            As an emerging author, most people approach me and say, “How awesome!  What inspired you to write a novel?”

            My first answer is “Because I love to read.”

            Ever since childhood, I loved to read novels and magazines.  Reading through a National Geographic magazine, I imagined myself in a hundred different worlds: floating down the Amazon river in a canoe, wearing a seal-skin parka huddled in an Alaskan igloo, or riding a bicycle with an umbrella straw hat down a Thailand street market.  Even as a young adult, picking up an Isabelle Allende novel, I could delve into a romantic adventure and really feel like I was apart of the story.  It didn’t matter if I was only sitting in my living room, or lying on my bed, or swinging on my porch swing.  It didn’t matter that I rarely left my house, other than to go to school.  I could travel through words, and through my imagination.  Reading opened my mind to diverse traditions in our diverse world. 

            After traveling the globe myself and living with different beautiful people, I asked myself: what about my stories?  I want to share my incredible life experiences with the world!  So I opened up my laptop and went to work.  I woke up before dawn to write down details from my dreams.  I stayed up late to accompany the stars to reflect on my friend’s stories and put them into words.  I had a clear mental image of each friend, and I wrote down their traits to create fictional characters.  I thought about their beliefs, their religions and how I would write in their perspective.  I remembered the details of their life trials, tribulations and triumphs.  Their journeys would become the storyline of my novel. 

            After months of writing long hours, The Flowered War of 2012 began to fall together.  While I was putting the pieces of the puzzle together, I always had a good friend review my work.  My Russian-American friend Helen had great “outside eyes” to help me see my own work from an outside perspective.  She even had great suggestions on how to end my novel!  When I finished writing all the chapters, I sent my work to an editor and friend in India.  After her corrections, I had a finished manuscript in my hands.  Thanks to modern technology, within a few months I had a solid novel in my hands.

            So how has reading changed my life?  Reading inspired me to become an author and to share my multicultural story with people around the world.  Thanks to the internet, my family around the country, my friends in India, my friends throughout South America and my husband’s family in Mexico can all read my novel! 

            Through the writing process, I always had questions.  So what did I do?  I read more!  It is quite an amazing truth to know that there is a book written on almost any subject.  If you are curious, keep reading and you will find answers.  Moreover, you will soon discover how reading changes your life.

 

Kelly Carlos is an author from Woodburn, Marion County, Oregon.  If you would like to learn more about her multicultural novel, The Flowered War of 2012, please visit: www.floweredwar.com or contact Kelly Carlos by email at thefloweredwar@gmail.com