We are so excited to welcome Helena Cirian to the Inspire Books family this summer as a staff writer. She brings a wealth of knowledge from her own self-publishing experience and advanced studies in creative fiction. Read on to find out more about her writing and publishing journey, as well as a sneak peek into the writing tips she will be focusing on this summer through our social media and blog posts.
Hello! My name is Helena Cirian, and I am excited to share what I have spent the last few years of my life learning.
I grew up in South Carolina, and recently graduated from Fort Mill High School, where I was involved in several academic programs and extracurriculars. Outside of school, I have been riding horses competitively since fourth grade. I spent my high school years doing rehab work with several mistreated horses and bringing them up to competition level. In 2020, my horse Winston and I won our jumping division, marking a significant success for us both. Outside of horse riding, I am an artist and a dancer, recreationally organizing swing and lindy hop dances at my school.
I am attending Oberlin College in Ohio now, studying English and Creative Writing. I began writing when I was twelve, and it has been a long road to get where I am today, with one full-length novel and several short stories published. I wrote for myself for a long time, never expecting to even want to see any of my pieces in a public space. However, in seventh grade, I had the opportunity to publish a short story in an anthology. I remember, quite vividly, the feeling of holding that book in my hands, and thinking, “I want to do this again.” I began writing more from there, improving and honing my skills until I felt confident enough to put my next piece out. I submitted to a county-wide contest and came in first place. It was the boost I needed to take my writing career to the next level.
After that, my abilities were not in question, and my confidence was at an all-time high. I started work on my first novel in my eighth grade and finished it the following year. It was a magical moment, but it would be years of work to produce it into something physical. I struggled, for long months, taking on the self-publishing market, entirely alone. I did everything from editing my novel to designing the cover with help from no one but my parents. Not having any form of guidance was the most challenging part of publishing, having to know where to place intricacies, how to design the pages so they will be accessible, it was incredibly difficult. Despite those anxiety-inducing months, however, the day my novel went live on Amazon, the success was better than anything. The next few months, as I struggled to market my novel, I owed a great deal to my community. My school newspaper interviewed me, as did Talk of the Towns Carolinas. I saw a remarkable amount of support and interest, and I realized: I may not know my way around publishing yet, but there are people willing to walk with me until I figure it out. No author, not even one starting out, is truly alone.
The world of publishing is a nuanced place, and I would seek to break down the complexities for people like myself, who want to understand their options, and how they can take their creativity to the next level. I plan to use this summer to introduce readers to a range of topics, including areas of my expertise, which is fiction writing. In both my writing tips and my blogs, I will address areas of fiction which I have heard countless questions about, including worldbuilding and character creation.
There are many people in the world who believe they have a novel in them, but it takes an astonishing amount of work and knowledge to bring that out as a completed manuscript. Even then, many who make it that far have no idea what to do next. My goal, which is one that is true of the entirety of Inspire Books, is to pave that road, and make it even a slight bit easier for new authors to begin down the road of publishing. Everybody has something they need to say, something that will make other people’s lives better. It is just a matter of getting those words out there.