Here’s some exciting news—I’ve been published! No, no, don’t get too excited. My novel isn’t released just yet. (Though, I’m hoping I’ll be able to give you an update on the release date soon! My publishers have a specific month in mind already, but I don’t want to say anything until they’ve heard confirmation from Simon and Schuster to make sure there are no other competing YA fantasy novels coming out in the same month. Still… potentially very exciting!)
So, no, my novel isn’t yet available—but I wasn’t lying about being published, since a magazine article I wrote has been printed and released nation-wide (and internationally, via online subscription).
I can understand if you’re confused. I’m not a journalist, nor am I scholarly writer. I dabble in the world of fiction and that’s where I’m happy to stay. But a few months ago I was approached by a friend of a friend who had been getting ready to launch her new magazine, Positioned 4 Purpose. She contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in writing a feature article for the first edition. (Yikes!) I was honoured by the offer, but also a little hesitant since it had been a looooong time since I’d written anything other than fiction.
Anyway, after some umm-ing and ahh-ing, I agreed to meet and interview the source for the article—Pat Langfield, an inspiring teenager born with cystic fibrosis who doctors claimed should have died years ago.
To be completely honest, I was blown away by this young man’s testimony. He’s only eighteen, yet the trials and challenges he’s faced over the course of his life are simply… Well, there are no words. I was amazed by his strength of character, his easy smiles, and his outrageous courage. In fact, I was actually terrified after meeting him, because I was certain that I couldn’t do his story justice. I had no idea how I would find the words to share his testimony—because surely someone so inspiring deserved to have their story penned by a writer much more gifted (not to mention, experienced) than myself.
But you know what? The moment I sat in front of my laptop, his story just began to write itself:
“From the outside, eighteen-year-old Pat Langfield seems just like any other teenager. He plays guitar, he is a devoted Paramore fan, and he can’t wait to clock up enough driving hours so he can get his licence. But what many people don’t know about Pat is that every moment of his life is a battle to survive. Every day, every hour, every minute presents a struggle—literally—for him to breathe…”
Sentence after sentence, the article took form until I had nearly two thousand words detailing this remarkable young man’s journey. I lost whole chunks of time in front of my laptop; an entire weekend passed by without me even realising it! I was simply lost in my writing bubble. (It happens quite often, come to think of it…)
In the end, they printed the whole article—which, with photos, took up eight pages of the magazine! Eeek! I only hope Pat and his family are happy with how it turned out. I gave it to a work colleague to read through before I sent it off for approval, and she came back to me straight afterwards with tears in her eyes. No joke! I was speechless, especially since she’s not the kind of person to show her feelings. It was, yet again, a reminder that words can be powerful, emotional, beautiful weapons.
I maintain that Pat’s story wrote itself—I was merely along for the ride—but nevertheless, it was still scary to send it off to the magazine editor. I wasn’t so much worried about what she’d think, but more about what Pat and his family would think. Like I mentioned earlier, I wanted to do his story justice. He deserved that—and much more.
Anyway, that’s my news. I’d love to share the article here because I think it’s impossible not to be inspired by Pat’s story, but I’m not going to do the magazine a disservice by posting it for free when I know the money they make is going to a good cause. So, if you’re interested in reading the full article—and the many other encouraging stories in the first edition of the magazine—head over to their website to find out more about the subscription process by clicking here.