There are authors I know who say they would rather die than ever show their first attempt at a novel to the world.
I am not one of these authors.
In the Fall of 1987, my English teacher decided that she wanted our class to write in a journal every day. I did not like this teacher and decided I did not want her knowing anything personal about me, so I announced in my first entry that I would be writing an ongoing story for the duration of the class.
Now, this teacher wasn’t that sharpest tool in the shed; she did not seem to notice the speed at which my writing improved and my journal entries lengthened. She did not care what I wrote (if she even read it)–it only mattered that there was a date listed beside every entry so she knew where to make her check mark. She never spoke to me about my broken idea of plagiarism, this fear of copying someone that kept me from writing at full speed until many, many years later.
And yet, despite all that, I thank this teacher. Because, at the heart of it, and though it wasn’t her intent, she taught me how to write a novel.
I was eleven years old.
When I met Amanda Havard at MISTI-Con this year, she introduced me to a website called WattPad — a free fiction site frequented by fan fic folks and many others looking for a good read. (You can even check out her first novel, The Survivors, there for absolutely free. I highly recommend it! But if you’re like me, you’re still going to want the immersedition…)
WattPad seemed the perfect home for this project I’d had on the backburner for years: to post my original novel, in its original form, complete with Author’s Notes and Teacher’s Comments. (I’ve put those in the comments section below each chapter, for ease of reading.)
The Golden Band is now published there in its original incarnation, as I wrote it in my journal in 1987. It’s entitled The Golden Band (7th Grade Edition).
The 7th Grade edition of this novel only runs through Chapter Seven — at that point, in the summer before 8th Grade, I decided I could go no further until I had fixed certain elements at the beginning of the story that just didn’t fit anymore.
Now that I have fully entered the 7th Grade Edition, I will be posting the new edition, in installments, also on WattPad. It will be called The Golden Band (High School Edition).
I encourage you all to check out the story, follow along, and make comments as you see fit. Above all, I hope you enjoy this peek into the time capsule from the Life of Alethea Kontis.