• Adam Ross

How “The Bright Side of Darkness” Came to Be

Guest post by Colorado author J.E. Pinto. Originally published on her “About” page on Facebook.

“My name is J. E. Pinto. I was born three months too early in 1971 and lost my eyesight to retinopathy of prematurity. Blindness didn't stop me from reading, though. . I devoured all the great writers children should discover—Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl, Hans Christian Anderson and Laura Ingalls Wilder, Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume, John Steinbeck and William Shakespeare.

I always knew I wanted to be an author. From the time I figured out words could be written down and reread again and again, I knew someday I would write. When I was in elementary school, supposedly studying, I’d often be busy composing poetry or creating title pages and back cover descriptions for books I dreamed of one day publishing.

My novel, “The Bright Side of Darkness”, began as a short story assignment for a high school English class. I got an A on the assignment and fell in love with the characters who came to life in my imagination.

I never forgot those characters. In my twenties, needing to learn how to use a word processor, I typed that old short story from high school into my first computer—a DOS machine with 5-inch floppy disks and no Internet. The writing needed a lot of work, but the characters still captivated me. I added to the story, changed and deleted weak parts and moved paragraphs and chapters around. I picked the project up and put it down many times over the next twenty-some years, took advice and editing from countless people, attended writing workshops and critique groups, and never gave up on my dream.

Still, my dream might have stayed in a drawer forever if my mom hadn’t passed away suddenly in 2014. She was diagnosed with colon cancer, and ten days later she was gone. The shock nearly swept my world off its axis.

For a while, I couldn’t imagine anything positive coming out of such a horrific event. But gradually, I realized none of us have a clue how many days we will walk upon this planet. What we want to do, we better do in the present. So I gave my novel one last loving polish and kicked it out of the nest. In June of 2015, I finally published my book.

As I’ve marketed my novel over the last two years, I’ve met many wonderful people and been drawn out of my comfort zone. I’m a natural introvert and a recluse at heart. But introversion and reclusiveness are diametrically opposed to book marketing, so I’ve had my limits stretched in exciting ways as “The Bright Side of Darkness” finds its place in the world. The novel won two First Place 2016 Next Generation Independent Book Awards, one for First Novel Over 80,000 Words,, and one for Inspirational Fiction. It also won several 2016 awards from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association: First Place for Inspirational Fiction, Second Place for Audiobook Production, and First Place for Literary and Contemporary Fiction.

Besides writing, I work from home as a Braille proofreader and hang out with my family, which includes my nine-year-old daughter and her dad, and my guide dog Anlyn.”

Visit her on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/authorjepinto/

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