By Dennis Lara-Mejia
Humboldt State wildlife major Vincent Gonzalez poured his imagination onto a piece of paper eight years ago in a middle school English classroom. Gonzalez, an avid reader of fantasy novels, was inspired by T.A. Barron’s series “The Lost Years of Merlin.”
“After reading [Barron’s] series I found myself saying, ‘Man, I wish this or that would’ve happened,’” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez spent the next eight years writing his own story — “The Tapestry of Life: The Lost Prophecy”. “The Tapestry of Life” is a coming of age story about Urnarld, a young girl who becomes aware that only she can save her island homeland Fralork. It took Gonzalez four drafts until he had the story completely polished.
“I wanted to try something different,” Gonzalez said. “Usually when fantasy novels are written, male authors use male protagonists.”
He saw himself as a scribe for the protagonist.
“This is her story to tell,” Gonzalez said. “I just sit down and write it for her.”
Gonzalez’s multi-racial upbringing influenced his work.
“I’m half Lakota and half Cuban,” Gonzalez said. “I grew up in a Native American household. In it, I was taught that family was important — looking out for one another is important to survive.”
Lonyx, Gonzalez’s advisor at the Indian Natural Resource, Science and Engineering Program, said Gonzalez works hard as a student.
“It first started out as a short story in middle school, then I kept adding on to it and it got longer,” Gonzalez said. “I would tell people that I was going to write a book but no one believed me.”
Many hours of practice were put into improving Gonzalez’s skill as a writer. He always wrote for fun as a hobby, but now he needs to write for an audience and have their interest in mind.
Gonzelez’s sent packages containing his novel to 30 publishers throughout his junior year.
On trips to meet with his EOPS advisor Rama Rawal, Gonzalez would talk about the status of his book to her.
“After talking about his academics, I would ask him how far along he was at getting it published; he’s tenacious,” Rawal said. “Not only is [Gonzalez] a science major taking challenging courses – he also works and is doing internships. It’s admirable that a science major could pull through that all.”
After being turned down by 30 different publishers, Gonzalez heard back from someone interested in publishing his book: Sarah Book Publishing.
“I learned to be patient. A lot of people would be discouraged by hearing no that many times, but I wasn’t,” Gonzalez said. “I wanted to prove that I could actually get my work out there.”
Since March, his book “The Tapestry of Life: The Lost Prophecy” has been available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and digitally on the Kindle bookstore.
Gonzalez is currently trying to get his book sold at the Humboldt State Bookstore, and hopes to have a sequel published by next summer.