This is my story, so I must tell the truth. And my truth is that I had no desire to be a writer. It was not a goal I pursued. It would be a lie if I told you I knew writing was my path before I could hold a pen. As much as I feel that way now, it wasn’t my reality.
Writing came to me while I was at a standstill in life; I was searching for something more. I was bored, lost, and was without ideas of what to do next. Then, it was as if the universe sensed my desperation and sent relief. I was at the desk of my temp assignment when this voice summoned me. It was unfamiliar and demanding as it whispered in my ear:
“Monica Brown, that’s my name. Ask me again and I’ll tell you the same.”
I didn’t ask any questions. As if instinctual, I opened a blank document on the office computer and transcribed what I’d heard. A soul summoned mine. We’d made a connection. I listened and I wrote. She trusted me with her story and recruited others to reach out as well. The year was ’00. I’ve been writing ever since.
Though that experience began my writing career, I’d been telling stories long before then. I moved around a lot due to my father’s career in the Air Force. Living on three continents afforded me the opportunity to experience life on many different levels. I saw how vast storytelling was through various cultures, through their TV shows and movies. I grew up absorbing those stories, watching and listening over and over again until the lines became my everyday language whether using it on Barbie and Ken or in dialogue with the people in my world.
In thirty-odd years, there’s not much I haven’t tried career-wise. Shortly after graduating high school, I raised my right hand and swore to protect my country from all enemies foreign and domestic. It didn’t take long for me to realize I wasn’t cut out for the same path as my father. Once I laced up my combat boots for the last time I ventured into temp office work, spent a couple of years working behind bars at a county jail, and screened passengers and luggage for the government until a back injury changed the course of my life.
It was then I vowed to give writing my all.
To help ends meet, I worked as an extra for a few TV shows and movies, and also had a significant role in a short film. I even interned as a makeup artist to learn all aspects of the storytelling process. (Read more of my story at Rise Up Eight.)
My path in life hasn’t been all good, but it hasn’t been all bad either because it has led me here. Now, as an author of two novels, Parallel Pasts and The Last Exhale, and several published short stories, I’m able to see how every experience in life has shaped and prepared me for this opportunity.
Nothing compares to the joy I feel when creating memorable characters.
Nothing compares to taking my imagination to places the imagination dares to go. That’s what bringing life to a blank canvas does for me. It liberates my soul.
I write from my soul to touch yours.