Then two things happened in the summer of 2012: I wrote a decent length fan-fic for a contest, one of the funnest things I’d done in a while, and I found Denise Grover Swank.
I downloaded Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes for free on my Kindle and devoured it. I loved the book so much that I Facebook stalked Denise like a champ and then finally decided to message her to tell her how much I enjoyed the book. I never expected her to answer. I mean, she’s an author, like she’d bother to talk to me, so when she actually did I fangirled...hard. Honestly, I was so amazing to talk to the person writing the books I loved, that I may have overdid the messaging thing a little. I soon found out that Denise is gracious, down to earth, approachable, and LOVES her readers. She makes time to connect with them, and that is something that sets her apart. Even if she had never messaged me back, I would still gobble up everything she writes. She’s a genius! But being able to talk to her made me even more invested and excited. It made the writer inside of me stir and start to wonder, “what if?”
Then came THERE (The second book in the On the Otherside series). I have a habit of loving the guy the MC doesn’t choose, and I needed a happy ending for the "losing" guy in the series. NEEDED IT! *light bulb* Fan fic! I wrote about 40 pages and sent it to Denise. She read it *dies* and actually liked it! *Another light bulb* I loved doing it, and an honest-to-God author liked something I wrote. Maybe I could do this!
I asked Denise if she thought I had potential as a writer and then bit off all my nails in the one minute it took her to reply. She said yes! At the time I was more than stoked. I knew I had a lot of learning to do, but I didn’t know how bad it really was until I learned what I needed and then re-read my fan-fic about a year later. It was BAD. Okay, maybe I’m being hard on myself. The story wasn’t bad, but my structure and grammar made it almost unreadable. Denise=gracious... and maybe crazy, because crazy is probably what she should have told me I was for thinking I could be a writer. Or just block me and run away, because she’s too nice to tell anyone that. But instead she encouraged me and supported me. She didn’t have to do that. God knows, she didn’t the time (the woman busts out books like crazy and has 6 kids... it’s insane!), but she did it anyway.
I can honestly say if it wasn’t for her there is no way I’d be pursuing a career as a writer; no way I’d have my first book coming out in three weeks. A book she even made time to beta read! She is amazing and is the kind of writer I will always look up to. She is my inspiration and I’m honored to be able to call her a friend. I can never thank her enough.
Find out more about her below and then read her books! Just be prepared to not get anything else done for a while!
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten houses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period. Her hobbies include witty Facebook comments (in own her mind) and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you believe her offspring.) Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks. She has six children and hasn’t lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe.