my journey to becoming an author, storyteller & writer

Maggie van Galen and Dad
Maggie van Galen and Dad

Growing up, I remember listening to my father’s stories. He was an amazing raconteur and always took me right into his stories. I could see the characters and would be transported to the locations and engage in the plots. As I grew older, I was always writing. I used it as a sort of escapism…writing poetry to deal with teenage “stuff”, studying journalism and creative writing in college.

Then in 1995, my father died, and my life turned upside down. It made me stop and look around and take stock of what was really important. My path took many new turns. I traded in security for the unknown, moved from Michigan to Boston, and changed careers. This was the point when I began to realize that climbing the corporate ladder wasn’t the end goal.

Although I continued to do it for the next 15 years, I found myself pulling out the pen and paper more and more. I published a book of poetry, an Inside Look…, wrote for a small-town newspaper, and even formed a business around editing and writing! However, the need to survive and put food on the table always brought me back to the corporate world! In 2000, I moved to London with my husband and worked at The Economist for 3 years. All the while, plugging along and “succeeding” but never feeling really fulfilled.

After having two boys, true happiness began to shine in my life and the words started to flow. I realized that my dad had given me his gift. Now fast forward a few years, and my son asked me to come to his preschool to share one of our stories with his class. The kids loved it! His teacher came to me after and suggested I try to publish. She said the content was great, the moral of the story was age appropriate and saw the overall story being used as a teaching tool. Although I was thrilled to hear this, I wasn’t ready yet. I did, however, continue to go into my kids’ schools and tell the stories. After each visit, the teachers would urge me to publish. I found this so rewarding that after years of telling stories to my boys, their friends, and their classmates, I decided to take the plunge into publishing and share them with the world.

My initial goal was to leave a legacy for my sons, and I have done that. Now that I am more than a decade into this adventure, I would very much like to see my books in the hands of all children.

My tagline is “Always Follow Your Dreams!” It can take time to figure out what those dreams may be, and that’s okay as long as you strive toward them everyday. I truly feel that I am living my dream! I hope you enjoyed reading my journey…I am loving living it!

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