In November 2021, I pursued a life-long ambition to write a novel. It was not my first attempt. But this time, I was determined to see it through at all costs. And I did. Fast forward six months, and I finally wrote those two glorious words: The End.

I soon found out that finishing a novel is the beginning and not the end of a process. The first draft of a book is very much that…a draft that needs to be revisited several times. After two major rewrites, I felt the time had come to introduce the manuscript to an audience.

The first audience was handpicked for their ability to offer valid and valuable criticism. The feedback I received was way better than I ever expected. Buoyed by this response, I ploughed on to the next stage: the search for an agent. Agents are the gatekeepers of the traditional publishing world. If you land an agent, your book stands a better chance of getting published. I am happy to report some progress, but more on this in the coming days.

While searching for an agent for my novel, I started writing short horror stories. Well, not exactly horror. More like stories with a twist-in-the-tale and a strong hint of the supernatural. I submitted three of my stories to several online journals and magazines.

Getting your stories to an audience is an arduous task. Rejections fly in from all quarters. Stephen King kept copies of all rejections, using them to fuel his enthusiasm. It is important to soldier on and believe in yourself and in your writing. One day, it will happen.

And it did for me. The Chamber Magazine took a liking to one of my stories and informed me they would include it in their August issue. Glory, glory, hallelujah. The feeling of joy wiped away much, if not all, of the stress caused by the growing pile of rejections. A few weeks later, another online magazine,, published a second story of mine, Chiaroscuro. The third story, UR 0340, was published on Halloween by

This is how my journey as an author started. I want to share my adventure with whoever wants to follow the trials and tribulations of a writer. This blog is going to be my scrapbook. So, welcome on board as we head to wherever…

Written by : Peter Portelli

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