My Adventures in Becoming an Author, Part 2

I’m back! Just in case you missed last week’s entry, you can check out it here.

School Bio Headshot

Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I just wanted to thank everybody for their participation last week. Your comments were SO encouraging, and I can’t wait to continue this adventure with every single one of you!  YOU are the reason that I do what I do, and I’m excited to hear your thoughts on Burlwood Forest! I hope you’ve been able to check it out. Please let me know what you think, and don’t forget to provide an honest review on Amazon. Every bit helps!

Last week I talked about my background and what made me decide to become a writer. This week, I thought I would focus on the book itself, and how I came up with such a crazy story.

Character Tuesday Week 7

To be honest, I never really set out to write Burlwood Forest. Like all writers, I guess I always knew I had a story inside me, I just had NO idea what it was. That’s been the coolest part of the whole process. Instead of worrying about what I was writing, how I would write it, or what I would end up with, I just wrote. The longer I wrote, the more the story changed. And the more the story changed, the more that I understood it. That makes sense, right? I never felt like I was truly creating something original. It was more like there was something out there that I had the privilege of discovering. I had the opportunity to share it with the world.

If I had to narrow it down, I’d say Burlwood Forest probably began the summer between my junior and senior years at Carolina. We had rented an amazing house on the Outer Banks, and I was sitting out on the porch with my Dad just enjoying the view. The story then was nothing like it is now, but some of the names we came up with that day stuck. Grohill. Tugley. Mable. I had no idea what I wanted to write about, but one thing was clear- I didn’t want to just write a book. I wanted to create an adventure. For me, a story can be so much more than words on a page. It can inspire you and change who you are. It can be real.

That’s what I set out to do with Burlwood Forest. It’s not a biography. It’s not even serious at all. But real emotion went into creating it. Real passion. And I think that shows in the final product. The main character, Michael Pumpernickel, is a lot like I was when I was eleven. Scared. Confused. He’s just figuring out the world, and he has to find out who he is. We’ve all been through that, and if we haven’t, we will. One thing I learned from him, even as I wrote the book, is that you can’t let your circumstances dictate your success. Can times be hard? Absolutely. Will you always know what to do? No way. But you are who you are for a reason. You can’t ever lose sight of that.

Next week we’ll be jumping over to Reading with Frugal Mom for my third blog entry. Don’t forget to head there on Monday, May 18, to learn more about what I’ve been up to since I finished the book. Until then, feel free to comment and share your own writing stories. Always wanted to write a book? It’s never too late to follow your dreams.


JOHN CHOQUETTE is the author of Burlwood Forest, and the owner of Pumpernickel Art, a lifestyle design and publishing company founded in 2014. His work has appeared in numerous online and print publications, and he is currently a writer for an emerging music web site. He received a B.A. in journalism from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and lives in the Triangle area with his amazing wife. To learn more about Burlwood Forest, check it out online at Burlwood Forest, on Twitter @burlwoodforest, and on Facebook. Burlwood Forest is available on Amazon.

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