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Shana Abé

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Sweetest Dark, The
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Julie Ortolon
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Most authors will tell you they've been writing and reading since childhood. Not me. I hated reading and never imagined I'd someday be a writer. Of course, the fact that I have dyslexia probably has a tiny bit to do with my aversion to the written word. Nonetheless, I had a very active imagination and spent most of my school years staring out the window dreaming up stories. When I finally escaped the torture of public school, I attended Schreiner College in the Texas Hill Country. Schreiner specializes in programs for students with learning disabilities. With the help of a school administrator, who was willing to type out one of my short stories, I entered a writing contest—won first place! That was when I started longing for a way to get the other stories that were in my head down on paper. But the act of writing longhand, when I couldn't spell, could barely read, and knew zip about punctuation, proved impossible. So, I became an artist instead—and was perfectly happy. Then came the day my journalist husband brought home a computer, and I discovered the wonders of "spell check." I cannot describe how I felt in that moment. That computer was like a magic box—a gateway into a world where anything was possible. I spend every spare minute teaching myself to type, read, punctuate, and somehow get my stories out of my head and onto that glowing white screen. Ten years, and five complete manuscripts later, I had another magical moment—the day I sold my first book. When I got the news I screamed and cried and made a perfectly ecstatic fool of myself. The journey to becoming a published author was long and hard, but writing is the most thrilling thing I've ever done. I love to hear from readers, so feel free to contact me.

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