Hellooooo! I’m Andrea Coble, writer, editor, published author, and creator of 31 Days of World Building. Today’s post, though long, will be a short autobiography, so settle in and get cozy!
The Early Days
I was born in Mt. Shasta, California. It’s beautiful there! If you haven’t been yet, you should add it to your travel bucket list. The mountain air is fresh and the water is so clean!
When I dream of going back to visit, I imagine myself waking up in one of the guest bedrooms at my grandma’s house. The window was open all night and what wakes me up is the sound of deer walking lazily across the gravel driveway, attempting to get into my grandma’s fenced-in garden.
I sit up in bed and just take in the clear sky and fresh air coming through the window. My thoughts drifting from one to another. I sit comfortably for a while before taking a shower. The water is warm and clean (not like the hard water we have in Missouri) and I shower until the hot water runs out. This is ok because my grandma took her shower last night and I’m the only other one in the house.
After my shower I go downstairs and sit at the kitchen table to watch more animals lounging around in the back yard while I eat my breakfast. Then I spend the day reminiscing with grandma about the good ol’ days.
While I don’t particularly miss living in California, I do enjoy visiting! I lived in Mt. Shasta (and some of the other surrounding towns) until I was in second or third grade – I can never remember. It was there that I discovered my love for reading.
Being rather independent, I asked my mom to teach me how to read when I was three years old so that I wouldn’t have to wait for her to have the time to read to me. The first book I learned to read was one about Donald Duck with Chip and Dale. It’s the one where Donald builds a model ship inside of a glass bottle and the chipmunks need the ship to get to a tree full of acorns in the middle of a lake or pond. Donald struggles to keep his ship safe while the chipmunks do everything in their power to commandeer the ship and get their acorns. By Kindergarten I was reading at a sixth-grade level.
My freshman year I’d decided to write a story about a group of teens who were in a car accident that caused them to crash into the bottom of a deep ravine. This was before everyone had cell phones (in fact, I’m sure I hadn’t ever heard of one), so they were going to have to survive, trapped in the car, until help could come. I didn’t know the components of constructing a novel, so that fell to the wayside.
My parents moved around a lot and before you ask, no – they weren’t in the military. Each move was usually for different reasons like finding work, living closer to certain family members, etc. I may not have always enjoyed moving, but it happened and now I find myself grateful for it. I gained a lot by living in different places. We lived in various cities in Northern California, a small town near Reno, Nevada, a small town near Tulsa, Oklahoma, and finally Southwest Missouri.
The Young Adult Years
We moved to Missouri two weeks before I started my Senior year in high school. It was tough. I left a boyfriend behind and a graduating class that I was finally feeling a part of. Moving here wasn’t so bad though. My best friend moved with me with her mom’s permission. I had spent the summer here with my aunt and uncle and had made friends through their church who would be going to my new school.
By this time in my life I hadn’t read much for pleasure. I was really into music and I had learned to play the guitar. I started a band that went nowhere. The upside was that I got a husband out of the deal.
I met Mike about a month after I graduated high school and started dating him about a month after that. It was the summer of 1998 and we had big dreams and big plans. Fast forward to November of 2000 when we got married.
I hadn’t yet decided on a career path and worked wherever I could in various industries. In one industry in particular I met a friend who re-introduced me to reading fiction. The first Harry Potter movie had just come out and my aunt took me to see it while I was visiting for Christmas in California. I fell in love and was talking to my friend about it. What did she do? She bought me my first Harry Potter book. I couldn’t stop reading.
Once the series was finished I felt lost and empty. What now? I felt like nothing could live up to Harry Potter’s place in my life – no other book/series. Enter Twilight. Say what you will about that series, but it was exactly what I needed in order to see that I could read other things and still get some satisfaction from it.
Before I read the books, I saw the movie advertised on a news program. I rented the movie and was intrigued but had asked a different co-worker at a different place of employment about the books. “Please tell me the books are better than the movie.” She answered in the affirmative and I couldn’t put those down either. I was hooked on reading again.
Later, yet another friend and I had decided to co-write a story together. It’s a goofy spoofy story that I won’t tell you much about because I’d still like to finish it someday. At any rate, this was my first attempt since high school at writing my own story. I had virtually zero tools, and the internet wasn’t quite as helpful on the topic as it is today.
The Previous Decade
I didn’t finish my spoofy story for several reasons, but the fire to write never died. Sometime in the last decade I picked it back up again, working on various stories. I finally settled on my current work in progress, which you can learn about here.
At some point I joined a local roller derby league. It was so much fun, but when I decided to go back to school and work full time, I had to cut something out, and roller derby was it. I had a lot of fun and got some really nice brag-worthy injuries while making friends that I still talk to today.
I spent some time as a substitute teacher. When my anxiety took a deep, spiraling dive, I stayed home. I was a bit of a shut-in and became afraid to do a lot of things. Several months, some medication, and some counseling later and I found an online writing group that changed my life forever. The leader is now my writing coach and friend. Over the last year I have finally found the help I’ve needed to get a novel written.
I struggle with anxiety, depression, and fibromyalgia so it took me a while to get to this place where I felt worthy of investing my time, money, and energy into doing what I’m really passionate about. I’m still on this journey of discovery and action and I expect big things moving forward. I look forward to serving others through my books, my blog, and various services that I offer now and will offer in the future.
I’m so excited to be sharing my journey with you and I can’t wait to see what we do together!