My name is Patrick Dunn, and I’m an author that Dr. Weiner has brought on to write fantasy fiction blogs posts. I am currently a senior earning my Bachelor’s degree in English literature and creative writing from the online division of Southern New Hampshire University. I’m very grateful for this opportunity to share my thoughts.
For this first post, I wanted to talk a bit about myself and my path to becoming a reader and writer. In the future, I’d love to write about book suggestions and the different ways that I’ve seen fantasy authors build the worlds in their stories. I hope that you enjoy my posts!
I have so many memories from my childhood of poring over books. These experiences hold emotions that are so strong, they stand out like flashes of lightning. I remember experiences when a book was so fantastic, I couldn’t stop reading it, even though it was one o’clock in the morning, and I needed to head to school later that morning. I remember experiences of sitting with a cat by my feet, gripped by suspense—I turned the pages, losing my sense of time in enjoyment of the book. I can also recall times of shaking bouts of laughter as a character did or said something foolish or bizarre. Books continue to amaze me with how they can cause readers to act the same way that people can. Perhaps books are people made of paper.
When I was eight years-old, my second grade class was given a creative writing assignment—write an original short story. It was then that I discovered my passion for writing. Inspired by The Velveteen Rabbit, I wrote my first short tale about a talking rabbit who meets a dragon. The two set off on a most marvelous and weird journey, and, from what I remember, I wasn’t very happy with it. I thought that it was just “ok.” People read the story and encouraged me to keep writing. So, I did.
I fell into a habit that I wouldn’t recommend to even those that I dislike the most. First, I would write a short story. Then, I would read that story over. At that point, I would sometimes edit a few paragraphs here and there, but editing wasn’t important to me. Finally, I would become disappointed over how terrible I felt the story was, and throw the writing out or delete it from my computer. This lasted for two very long years, until I met the author Shawn Cormier.
A fantasy author best known for the book Nomadin, Shawn Cormier has been my mentor for several years now. We met when I was eleven years-old, during a writing event at a library. After talking with him and telling him how much I enjoyed writing, he encouraged me to email him my work. At the time, I had nothing to send anyone. I went home and started typing what came to my mind. Having no idea that I would actually finish the project, I began typing what would become my first novel, The Magus: Book One in the Magus Trilogy.
Over the course of about two years, I slowly wrote the book. Finding weekends and afternoons after school most convenient, I would write a chapter, and then email it to Shawn, who’d look it over and email back his comments and guidance. I absolutely loved this whole process, and I’ve grown as a writer more from Shawn’s influence than any other writer. Along the way, I took inspiration from J.R.R. Tolkien, Margery Williams, and Christopher Paolini, who I consider masters of the art.
Once the book was completed, I knew that I needed a good editor. A very, very good editor is actually what I was seeking. I came across Dr. Weiner’s editing website and was nothing but impressed with her credentials and that of her staff. After a brief phone call with her, I knew that she was the person for the job. I’m happy to say that she is indeed a very, very good editor.
In August, 2013, I self-published The Magus through CreateSpace.com, which is owned by Amazon.com. I was very pleased that something that I’d worked on had actually been published.
Soon after The Magus was published, my town newspaper actually interviewed me about my book and my inspirations.
Thank you very much for reading!