My Debut Novel Was Published This Month — It Took Me Twenty Years

Here’s why being a late bloomer doesn’t matter a bit

jesscio
5 min readSep 22, 2021

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Photo by Angelina Litvin on Unsplash

Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is but a broken-winged bird that cannot fly… — Langston Hughes

My debut novel came out last week. It’s a story based on the life of my beloved grandparents — two of whom I knew and one I made up. It’s a World War II story of love and loss that impacted my family for a lifetime but wasn’t really ever talked about by anyone in the family. It was typical of those people in those days to stoically soldier on. (pardon the pun)

I began working on the story of my grandparents’ lives back in 2003. I knew of the story: my biological grandfather had been killed “accidentally” (that is what the telegram said) five days after the Japanese surrendered in August 1945. In our family lore, as far as I knew, there was no understanding of what “killed accidentally” really meant. At least my mom, whose father it was, had no idea. So, I decided to see what I could find out.

My husband found a WWII message board and he posted did a message on my behalf: Does anyone know Roger C. Mitchell?

A few weeks later a letter arrived in the mail addressed to me. Its return address indicated it was from a man who had been a Staff…

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jesscio

Novelist. NYC. Debut novel: Sometimes A Soldier Comes Home out now! Order online where ever good books are sold. jesscio100@gmail.com