I first wanted to be an author when I was 12 years old and in Grade 7. In order to have an honest conversation regarding my journey to actually becoming a published author, I must admit that I was not a shining-star student in Grade 7. I was actually dyslexic and did not know it at that time. I did not understand how I could be so motivated to succeed in school and still be experiencing such a struggle, in particular with math and sciences. I had the worst spelling of anybody in my Grade 7 class and still shudder when I think of those moments when a spelling test required me to stand up by my desk and spell the word out loud. I would break into a cold sweat, stutter over the words, endure my classmate’s giggles at my misspellings and pray for the moment to be done. But even with the trauma of the spelling tests there was something about words that fascinated me – I just did not want to spell them out loud.
I was not sure what lay ahead academically, but I did believe I had more in me and I knew I wanted to express it somehow. I wanted to be good at something! I was 12 and desperately looking for an academic strength and a source of confidence. I was also busy trying to cover up some of my academic weaknesses and was certainly learning that the only way I was going to achieve success was to work very hard. I was probably creative enough to have received some decent marks in my Language Arts class despite the terrible spelling, but I was not an English whiz kid who everyone else predicted would become an academic and author. But I was curious, and that curiosity kept me moving forward despite some of the academic challenges.