What inspired (and continues to inspire) me to write? What was that one thing that triggered the voices in my head to scream louder until I sat down and let it all out? I usually answer that question with ‘music did.’ Hearing someone make something so beautiful that it connects with your soul in a special way is inspiring. You don’t just listen to the song, you feel it. You can feel the pain, the heartache, the love, etc. in someone’s words. There’s nothing better than getting lost to it. But you can also feel those things in complete silence…while reading a book. A book that I never heard of by an author that I didn’t know anything about, inspired me to live out my dream.
What book is so magical that it got me to think ‘I can do this too?’ Do you really want to know? Yes? Okay, I’ll start from the beginning so you can understand my excitement. I’m sorry, I like to rant!
When I was younger, I never liked reading or writing. And now is when you start thinking, “Well, then why are you are writer?” Going to school and being told what to read and write never sat well with me. I couldn’t connect with something when it was shoved onto me. I couldn’t write an essay on a book that lost my interest because we’d read three chapters a day and never remember what was spoken the day before. I just can’t. I have to want to read it. So when I was 13 almost 14, I took out a notebook, grabbed my favorite BIC pen-the blue sparkly one-and started writing down a story I’d want to read. The words couldn’t stop flowing out of me, and so I wrote. And wrote. Until Emily’s story was finished (well not really but at the time I thought it was). And like any scared teenager that thinks no one will want to hear Em’s story, I closed that notebook and put it away. I smiled every day though, thinking about what I’ve done. I wrote a story. I wrote something that I looked for in a book. I always wanted to see my name on a book in Target (because I LOVE Target) but I didn’t have any confidence in myself so my words would be just for me. It was terrifying researching publishers and agents when you’re so young and I didn’t want to stress myself out. I had all my life to decide on things.
While attending high school, I lost any motivation to read and write. I had to do so much; plan for the future, be an adult, do something. Nothing felt right so I just did what teachers needed me to do.
Fast forward to Christmas of 2012 (I just turned 18 and was super stressed about life and what’s coming next) and my sister handed me a late birthday/Christmas present. Seeing that Kindle box with a shiny new Kindle inside sparked a fire inside me that I thought I lost. I wasn’t reading anything special. I didn’t want to keep writing about things that I didn’t want to write about. I felt lost. Until I got that kindle. It’s amazing how something so small could start changing things. After a long night, I sat by the tree, turned on the Kindle and clicked on the Lending Library link. The first book that popped up was Sometimes Never by Cheryl McIntyre. It was such an unusual cover that I couldn’t stop staring. I’m used to seeing professionally made book covers with models that make it pop, not a random man sitting against a brick wall with words on his hand. It looked like the cover was taken by someone’s phone. I was so confused because I’ve never seen a cover like that. I never heard of self-published authors and self-made covers. I only used to read published authors (buying paperbacks from Borders) and since my friends were not readers, I never expanded my reading tastes. I picked up any book from an author I used to read from (all YA at the time). I borrowed that book…and my life changed. It opened my eyes to this extraordinary new world hidden to me.
New Adult. I have never heard of that genre until I swiped my finger left on the last page of Sometimes Never. That book deals with some heavy things, there was sex, and the language…everything was exactly what I wanted to read in a book. It got me to feel what Hope was going through and it hurt. It hurt so much that I loved it. I looked up this mysterious author and was sad to see book 2 in the series wouldn’t come out until June. How was I going to make it?!?! I needed more of her writing! I went on Goodreads, spent hours looking at books labeled New Adult and one-clicked them. After reading a few, I sat back and stared at my bookshelf. The bookshelf where my old notebook holding a story I put away was currently residing on. I thought to myself, ‘what if I look into self-publishing? It’s okay if no one reads my book, it will at least be out there.’ If other people were doing it, I could too.
It took a lot of time and courage to finally type up and edit the first book in the Enough trilogy but I did it. I didn’t hold back the language or the dark parts. I knew that after reading my first New Adult book that Emily’s story would be labeled New Adult as well. Emily’s story is written the way she would have wanted it. And she wouldn’t stop talking to me afterwards. I had to keep going. I was writing because I wanted to. I knew right then writing was something I had to continue. It’s like the air I breathe. I feel lost without it.
April of 2014, I hit publish on Enough. People were reading my book. Some liked it, some didn’t. I was okay with it. I still kept writing. I will always keep writing. Whenever I’m having trouble writing, I look up all the books I have by Cheryl (because I have them all) and I find my inspiration. I think back to how I first felt when I read her book and the writer’s block disappears. I’m so grateful to have found her because if I didn’t, I don’t think I would have looked into the indie world. I wouldn’t have met all these amazing authors I know today.
Fate could have played a big part in everything. Whatever it was, I’d wish for it again. I’m a writer because I stepped out of my ‘published authors’ bubble. I wish we’d see more indie books in stores because they are just as great (maybe even better 😉 ) than what is already on shelves. We all need confidence and that little shove to get us out of our comfort zone. Cheryl McIntyre’s words shoved me in the right direction.
Everyone finds inspiration in something. I found mine by chance (and her books also have playlists so it’s a win-win!). What’s yours?
BIO: Author of the Enough Trilogy, Don’t Let Me Fall and The Letting Go Duet, Briana Pacheco is a coffee addict, reader (fangirl times a million), and a music lover with a side of awkward and sarcastic. Obsessed with tattoos and accents because she has neither, she wants to travel the world and eventually find her real book boyfriend.
You can find Briana and get in contact with her basically everywhere on the Internet: