I'm an avid reader and always had a desire to write since I was a kid. When I was about ten years old, a friend and I would write short stories and sometimes collaborate. We wouldn't let anyone else read them, probably because we knew they were horrible. I guess we learned at a young age that oneself is the worst critique of an author's work.

In the late 1990s, I joined the Novel Writing Workshop, where I worked with a mentor who critiqued my work. Each month I would send him three chapters for him to critique through snail mail. This was in the days when the Internet was new. I remember working all day, usually getting home between 6 and 8 pm, writing on my book while my then partner cooked our dinner. I wrote my first novel, a whodunit detective story, on a word processor similar to the one below.

Source: Wikipedia

I still have the story; who knows, maybe one day I'll dig it out of storage and rework it. My partner and I dreamed of the day when my book would get accepted by a publisher (nowadays called a "traditional publisher"). My books would become movies like my favorite authors, Dean Koontz and Stephen King. (I'm literally laughing as I am writing this.)

Source: http://pc.watch.impress.co.jp/

When we got our first computer, a Compaq like the one in the photo, I joined online forums where my short stories were critiqued. During this time, I had written and sent out a couple of short stories to magazines, only to be rejected.

Through the years, I have written off and on, coming up with many ideas, but not completing more than a few chapters of a novel. I have completed some short stories with positive feedback from friends. There were times where I gave up on writing for a long time, but have always come back to it. I believe writing is my calling. I love it so much.

When I lost my job in 2012, I became determined to complete a story and publish it. At that time, my father told me about a friend of his that wrote his first novel at the age of forty. That became my new goal: to complete a novel by the time I turned forty. That year I wrote a short story, which later became the novel, Abandoned, which I am proud to say was published shortly after my fourtieth birthday.

Though I wasted many years doing something other than completing a book, I am very happy where I am now. Never give up on your passions no matter what anyone tells you otherwise. You can achieve your goals if you stick to them and be the person you're destined to be. No one can stop you but yourself.

I live in Central Florida with my wonderful husband, an onery and pompous Italian Greyhound, Nyla, and two crazy cats, Sasha and Harry. We are often haunted by the endearing spirits our two cats, Keoki and Daxter.

Besides reading and writing, I also like to take photos of animals and nature, and I am a bit of a Linux geek.

Feel free to connect with me at any time. You can email me at authorjessed@gmail.com.

My Facebook page is facebook.com/jessedaggett.

Send me a tweet at twitter.com/jessedaggett.

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