by Irina Slav
I remember my first piece of creative writing — it was a poem about the snow and I wrote it some time in second or third grade. Then I got too busy with other things but when puberty hit, so did inspiration. I went through the more or less mandatory stage of poetry but fortunately it didn’t last too long. Mostly, though, I wrote stories and non-fiction, pretty much blog stuff. And I was very private about it, which was easy because in those days I didn’t have the temptation of putting my writing on the internet.
When I was 17, I started on a novel, which, again fortunately, I gave up somewhere around page 135. That’s 135 A4 pages written on a typewriter. Ah, those were the days… It wasn’t a bad story but it was full of laughable stereotypes and prejudice. It was sort of paranormal, but just slightly. Anyway, I was too distracted by other things like reading, falling in love, partying and, when there was nothing else to do, studying. By the way, falling in love has always been a great inspiration. When I met my now husband, I wrote a vampire story (that was in 2000, by the way) that I gave him as a birthday card. The longest birthday card ever, I imagine.
The writing itch became uncontrollable after my daughter was born, funny as it sounds. I found myself free of work-related stress and free of world and local news that invariably get me mad, and I discovered I was full of ideas. They mostly came while I slept and I’m perfectly aware how pathetic that sounds. But I guess it’s just the best time for my subconscious to break through the shackles that hold it while I’m awake. Plus I’ve always been a vivid dreamer and I started writing stories about some of these dream experiences. The most interesting ones, I thought, though a friend of mine, a literary man, told me one of the stories was sick. I took it as a compliment, naturally. Then another friend, a professional in the field, told me something very nice about another of those stories, which at the time I was putting on my Bulgarian blog. And then I came across e-book self-publishing.
Yeah, I know, people have been doing it for years but there was no one to tell me. Besides, I didn’t think anyone outside my immediate circle of friends would like what I wrote. But that second friend, who is not part of that immediate circle but is a university professor in literature, said we could do a book if I had 20 stories like the one she’d liked. I didn’t even have ten and I really wasn’t sure she’d think so highly of the other ones I did have. You know, they all had something supernatural in them, though not like in the same-name series and not like in all the other series, books and movies that have made vampires, werewolves and all supernatural scum celebrities. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of these creatures, I just don’t write about them, apart from that old birthday card. So for the first time I thought that maybe there really are people out there who would like what I write about. The world’s full of novels and I prefer short stories, usually very short. Basically, I write what I like to read, though I would have liked some of these to have been longer. I could always follow up on them, I guess, if the right inspiration presents itself.
Anyway, here is the result. I don’t know much about marketing my own work but I know it would be arrogant to push the book under my blog followers’ noses and tell them to buy it. So, it’s free tomorrow and the day after, just to see how things go. If you’re wondering why I haven’t made it free forever, I’d have to say that insecure as I am, I believe it’s worth more than 0, as simple as that. Thank you for your attention and I hope you enjoy the stories if you decide to give them a try. If you feel they deserve it, spread the word. If not — I apologize for the time you wasted on them.