Well, here is a little bit about me…
I have been together with my husband for 30 years and counting. Met my husband at 17, and he decided to stick with me (for reasons I still don’t believe when he tells me). It took 8 years to get engaged, at year 10 we got married (in a castle), at year 12 we got married again (in a church), and at year 18 God probably thought we must be sick of one another by now (so, totally not true) and gave us a baby boy in 2011 and then because we were having so much fun He decided, what the heck and blessed us with another son in 2013.
And now that I have the family I always wanted, I’ve been living happily ever after ever since.
Some would think of me as an introvert or wallflower, but neither of those words really describe me. I am not someone who feels comfortable in the limelight, but I am also not someone who takes a back seat to her life. In fact, I put a lot of effort into my life.
So, I have invented a new word.
Introprotagonist – /ˈintrō-prōˈtaɡənəst,prəˈtaɡənəst/ noun.
Being the main character of your own story, an advocate for all good things but doing so behind the scenes, quietly and effortlessly.
That’s me… I’m hoping my new word will catch on.
I always wanted to be a writer. More importantly, a successful published writer. However, after receiving rejection after rejection letter, I lost sight of that dream. The letters never revealed much. They all read more like standard form letters, “Thank you, but no.”
For a while, I gave up on my dream. Focused on my other talents in art, helping my husband run a successful graphic design business and my own business sculpting custom cake toppers. Still, I wrote nearly every day because so many stories roamed around in my head, which begged to be told, even if there was no audience.
In December 2015, my niece introduced me to Wattpad. At age 40, with two little ones at home, I seriously thought my writing days were behind me, but began to wonder and decided to post my story From the Ashes, a historical romance novel.
In a few short months, From the Ashes gained momentum and readers. My excitement grew when I’d seen it on Wattpad’s Hot List (they only show the top 1000 books in a particular genre) and on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 it hit number one. I cried that day. Here was the validation I was looking for. I am a good writer. I have thousands of comments, from wonderful readers all over the globe, telling me so.
It renewed my spirit. I began a writing frenzy. My new books were gaining popularity. I was gathering a following. I began running a short story writer’s group called the Storytellers Saloon, with some of the most creative people I have ever had the pleasure to write with, collaborating on a western in poetry and if that’s not strange enough these 9 wonderful writers, from around the globe, role-play their characters in the comments. The series is called Busted Gulch. We are now in our 16th volume. Each story has reached the top 100 in Adventure. Highest rank was 26 on Wattpad’s Adventure Hot List.
These were not typical results. Many authors on this platform struggle to get readership and votes and I may only have a little over 3,000 or so followers, but I am fast approaching a million reads on my story From the Ashes thanks to this wonderful online community of readers and writers.
Now it was time for stage two. To publish a story of mine. I have started with a book I wrote for my son. Best Buds b and d is a story of two letters who were the best of friends until one day they decided they were better off apart because no one knew who was who. That was of course until they got some good advice from their Dads, setting their friendship back on track.
I wrote this book to help my son learn the difference between these two letters when his teacher told me he was having trouble telling them apart. It is a common mistake for a child just starting to read and write to make, and I wanted to find a fun way to help him remember which letter was which. With the encouragement from my husband and father, I self-published this story on Amazon and the book was so well received that I recently released a companion book, Minding p & q in 2020.
Then there was the big moment, the crowning jewel pinned to my writer’s cap, and that was having an award-winning book. In December 2018 I was approached by an editor at Litnet to participate in their Campus Romance Contest, for which I created the story…
Someone To Watch Over Me
This was my first time on this platform. Starting completely from scratch felt a bit nerve-wracking, but once again I felt so blessed by the reaction I got from readers. The response to this novel was astounding. A month after posting the book it ranked #1 in Romance, Young Adult and New Adult – College. I stayed at #1 for over a year. The book received over 267 comments touting how much my readers were in love with this story.
On March 1st, 2019 I was picked as one of the 3 finalists to go to Portland, Oregon, for the AWP Conference and book fair where Litnet would announce the winner of the Campus Romance Contest.
On March 30th, 2019, at a special event held by Litnet, I was announced as the winner. It was almost a surreal moment. After 20 years of writing, I have finally won a literary award for one of my novels.
So, I have proven to myself I am a good writer, I am now a published author, and now I have the honor of saying I am a literary award-winning author. However, I have just started this journey and I have every intention of continuing to be a success and making all my writing dreams come true. Book to Movie, anyone? *giggle*
And if you have a dream, I say to you…
“Don’t wait. Take one step, just one, every day towards your dream, and before you know it you will have arrived.”
It’s been a pleasure to meet you,
– Charity Rue