It’s easy to forget that not everyone starts off writing. We meet these wonderful writers and imagine that they spent their time doing only writing and became successful. Perhaps it is because that is what we want, so we imbue it on others.
Often times, like ourselves, writing is something done on the side, a hobby hoping to make a career. We are all there, but the most important thing is to take a dream and try to make it into something real.
I introduce Austin Aslan, who has had a full life before becoming an author.
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In 2000, Austin got a degree in Wildlife Biology from University of Arizona. He then spent 3 years in the Peace Corps in Honduras. Then was a campaign manager for a U.S. Congressional bid.
From 2004 – 2011, he worked as a Community Organizer in Sacramento, California. He worked to reduce youth violence. After that, he moved to Hawaii.
In 2013, he completed his degree in Tropical Conservation Biology.
With a wife, kids, and career, when did he find time to write? Well, he had been writing for 10 years plus, doing novels, screenplays, short stories, and essays. He states that he wrote because he had to, and not because he wanted to.
During his time in Hawaii, he wrote a YA disaster/survival novel in a 3 month time period. Before he knew it, he got a call on 12.12.12 (also my Mom’s wedding date), that his story titled Islands at the End of the World was sold to Wendy Lamb Random House.
I give kudos to Austin, and while you have lived a remarkable life (or so it seems), that writing is a worthy goal for anyone and I’m glad you got your dream.
I saw Austin during the Debut Authors panel, though I’m afraid I didn’t get a chance to meet him in person.