When I was twelve, I was on summer vacation at my Aunt Patricia and Uncle Jim's house in Nampa, Idaho. I picked up my mom's sunglasses, looked in the mirror, and thought "Wouldn't it be awesome to have a superhero who wore sunglasses instead of a mask?!" Thus began my idea for my superhero "Sunglasses."
I started writing a play about a single mom who had a daughter, worked for a lawyer, and was a superhero called Sunglasses at night. She was based on Daredevil, but she had all her senses. After a few pages into my play, I totally scrapped the idea (the script was HORRIBLE!!).
But I still liked the idea of Sunglasses. A few months later, when I was thirteen, I started writing my very first novel: Mysterious Warriors. Originally Sunglasses was joined by Bombfire, Lightest Hour, Swister, Fightful, Darkest Hour, Abb and Raff (Mysterious Warriors helpers), Tiger, and Knighter. Wow... she was also joined by Courage, Sycamore, Kitty, Heartless, and Breaker. (Swister, Abb and Raff, Tiger, Courage, and Heartless have all been cut. Now Sunglasses is Lunette, Bombfire is now Bonfire, Lightest Hour is Marryn, Fightful is Strike, Darkest Hour's secret identity changed, Knighter is Cabaya, Sycamore stayed the same, Kitty is Pirata, and Breaker is Sacrifice. Amazing how things change from when you were thirteen.)
I finished my first draft when I was fifteen, and I sent a query letter to Simon and Schuster about getting it published. I thought they would accept my book, and I'd get published easily. Thus began my first rejection. But I wasn't discouraged. I kept writing, since Mysterious Warriors was the first book of a trilogy. I wrote the second book, Pirates and War, a few years later and when I started college, I was working on the third book, Dangerous Warlord. In 2008, about a hundred or so pages into Dangerous Warlord, I got the only real writer's block I've had in my life. I put the book aside and worked on other projects...
2011 rolled around, and I picked up Mysterious Warriors. I'd just finished my second semester of Lisa Shapiro's Novel Writing class, and I was ready to critique my book. While reading the prologue, I realized I didn't need to critique Mysterious Warriors. I needed to completely rewrite it. The next Spring semester, I was ready with my, almost completed, first draft of Mysterious Warriors. September 2012, I asked my brother to critique my book, something I never thought I would be ready to do. My brother returned with his critique less than a month later, and within moments ripped (not physically) my book into four books, told me all my characters had the same personality and they all turned into me, told me every single one of my Mysterious Warriors' names were stupid (with the exception of Bonfire and Darkest Hour), and that if I made all the bajillion changes and broke it into four books, it could be an incredibly amazing story.
I took his advice, and I had less than one hundred pages of my new first book to write. Looking back, that was October 2012, and I published Mysterious Warriors: Unity in August 2013. In all, I think I drastically rewrote Mysterious Warriors seven times.
One of my critique group partners, Elizabeth Van Tassel, shared a website with me to utilize for my fantasy writing. http://www.wordhippo.com/ is a site which will translate words into different languages, among other things. The name Sunglasses always bothered my readers, so I used word hippo to get a new name for my main character. "Lunettes de soleil" is "sunglasses" in French.