Reading books has always been a passion for Nicole Jakubowski and four years ago she embarked on a mission to follow her dream of publishing a book of her own.
Jakubowski, who now lives in Topsham, Maine, is a Simsbury native who developed a love for reading at an early age. Jakubowski, now 36, spent a lot of time writing for fun as a young adult.
"I've always loved reading and writing, but this is the first time I've tried writing a book," Jakubowski said.
This summer Jakubowski published an e-book version of The Shen Counter, a coming of age paranormal romance story about two childhood friends, Jade and Alex. The e-book is available on Amazon.com and a paperback version will be released at the end of July.
The author took inspiration from her two favorite authors, Stephen King and Maggie Stiefvater, but hesitates to draw a comparison to her own writing style.
"The story and characters all evolved from an early draft," Jakubowski said. Over the course of several years she worked to further develop the narrative.
She worked steadily outside of her job as Senior Data Analyst for Thompson Reuters, writing at night and on the weekends, to complete her first novel.
"It was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be," Jakubowski said. "A lot of the time it feels like the words don't ever do justice to what's in my head."
The first-time author said she tried many times to take a break from working on the story but found she couldn't stay away for too long.
"I don't like unfinished projects. Every time I tried to take a break it sort of nagged at me," Jakubowski said.
Jakubowski received her undergraduate degree in English literature from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire in 1998. While working on the novel she enrolled in several online creative writing courses to further improve her skills.
Now that Jakubowski has persevered and published her first book she is eager to begin work on a sequel to The Shen Counter and has plans for a few other projects in the future.
Jakubowski feels a great sense of achievement after following her dream of writing a novel, and hopes to inspire other aspiring authors to follow in her footsteps.
"Keep plugging along, even when it gets hard," Jakubowski said.