Remmy Meggs – How I became a writer
My parents traveled a lot. When you travel to a new place every 6-8 weeks, you do not make close friends, you do not have toys. You have a television and if the programs were in English you were lucky.
So my parents let me buy books. C.S. Lewis, R.L. Stine, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert Heinlein, and later Michael Crichton.
Those were all authors I trusted. Action, adventure, true to life characters, and a good story, believable or not. Although I could read these simple books, I could not spell, and I sucked at math. With no real formal training, I was left in this void of nothingness.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would write a short story, much less a novel. Yet being a kid that was basically dumb by all standards, I wanted money, and my parents would not give it to me. Not because they were bad so much, but because they had none to speak of. Although I must admit my mom spent a lot, I have to say that my dad did without, over and over.
I saw an advertisement on the net for writers that could describe a house, or a drug and some other things. I answered the advertisement, and they said I had to have an account with PayPal or another bank. My parents sure wouldn’t set that up. A few months later I was talking to my uncle, not trying to sell him on the idea, but he set me up with a Disney account. I went back to the site and they took it.
Two weeks later I was writing for a real estate company making ten dollars per article. It wasn’t hard work, and I had a great spell checker, and sometimes a friend would look over my stuff. I was set, and I was making money on these small articles. I did this until I turned seventeen, then my life changed forever. I won’t go into that here, but I was twenty before I could spend any time at all at a computer, and most my time I was in a bed. They told my family to expect the worst. That is what we expected.
I was not ready to write just yet. I had started two books, but there was no way to finish them, and even to me I couldn’t understand them when I read over them weeks later. I was a failure.
My grandparents had bought several books for me, and I picked one up and read it. Overall it was a great book, but something kept bugging me about it. It would be years before I discovered why the book bugged me so much, after all, it was a worldwide bestseller. I just knew something wasn’t right. Finally, it began bothering me so much I would dream about the book, not the story or the characters but why I disliked it so much.
One day I sat in front of the computer. I was talking to my best friend that I had known since I was twelve. He was in England. Although his English was typical, I could still basically understand him. Then he told me everyone in England knew it was a woman writer! Well, I sure didn’t!
The world crashed in on me. Of course, all the boys in that book acted like little girls, the author knew nothing about boys! This was the turning point. I felt that if people could not write about how boys really are, then it was time someone did.
Sedated with this new knowledge I went to bed. Then I had a dream. It didn’t make sense at first, but I woke up and wrote it down. Then another dream the next night. A few weeks later yet another dream. I wrote these dreams down and kept writing them down as they came to me. A few months later looking over my notes, it dawned on me that this was a story. Only part of the story, but it began to make sense to me, although everyone else thought I had lost it.
I shared the story with others. They didn’t say it was confusing but they got lost and stopped reading it. I even had two editors going over it. People liked the story, just got lost in it. I continued. Then I was done with the book, and as confusing as it was people said I should publish it. Sorry, but if you get confused and stop reading it and you are my friends, then how is anyone else going to enjoy it?
The book sat for two more years, with my friend Paul editing the best he could, he was a math genius, not an English Major. I forgot about writing. Then more dreams. Dreams I couldn’t imagine if I tried, dreams about a time and place I knew nothing about. I would write them down and started looking up information on the internet about those dreams. One scene, in particular, got my interest. I looked it up. It actually happened. Not exactly how it was in my dream, but the battle of Lake Regillus outside of Rome was real. I was beside myself. What did I know of Rome? Where would I get such an idea? Yet the dreams kept coming. I had a second novel. This time people read it and loved it. They did not get lost or confused.
The idea of publishing it was silly. I had no money, it would need a real editor, and they are expensive. So it too sat in a Word file for months.
Then one day I met someone who has become a friend. It was a woman who says she is old enough to be my mother, and I still think no one can be that old. She edited books for a publisher. She wanted to see one of my stories. Oddly enough though she said it needed editing that it was a great book. She would edit it. Oh yeah, and where am I supposed to get that kind of money? Understand, although she wasn’t classified as a professional editor, this lady knew her stuff. She started editing it.
Now as sick as I am, whatever edits she came up with I was going to agree to, at least for the most part. When she had finished the book and had me do several rewrites of sections, it was done. She went through it one more time. Then I let my other two editors go through it one more time.
Everyone was happy with the book. That is an understatement, they were ecstatic. So I found out how to publish it myself and it went to print (Legacy- Grapes of Rome).
Then she wanted my first book. Well okay but I still have no money. It didn’t seem to be a problem. She read it. She liked it. She edited it. This one had much more rewriting to do in it. After all, it was my first book, and we had to take the confusion out. I must say it never confused me, but your readers have the last say. Almost ten years after the first writing it went to print and people love it (Changes). I thought it was over, but the dreams continued. And a third book was born that she is editing now (Saving Tomorrow). Just as I thought I was done, people wanted a second volume of my second book (Foundation – Grapes of Rome). And at the same time, I started having dreams again of yet another book (Backyard Adventures).
To C.S. Lewis, R.L. Stine, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert Heinlein, Michael Crichton and all the other authors I adore, thank you for making my life mean something. And thanks to all my readers for buying my books and loving them as much as I love them.
I was asked recently, “What makes your books different?” I didn’t even have to think on that one. Characters and characterizations. If a character isn’t three dimensional, then no matter what you write there is no depth to the story.