The following is a clip from my very first speaking engagement! I wasn't able to record the whole thing, but I'm hoping to have someone try to get all of Monday's speech. Now, because the video ends mid sentence, I shall finish it after said video.
"Just keep putting yourself out there, and don't give up because you will find people who have similar interests as you, and who will accept you for you."
Hey all, I’m Andre, if you haven’t guessed that already. Before I start,
if at any time you don’t understand what I’m saying, please stop me,
and I will either repeat myself or say it in another way, okay? Thanks!
So, Starkeeper is about a teenage guy named Cal, who has a disability. He goes to high school, and his schoolmates aren’t very nice to him. Cal faces many challenges, and he wants things to get better, and eventually they do. He is led to discover that he has special abilities as well as an important and grand destiny.
Before Starkeeper was published, a lot of people who I talked to, in the publishing world, said they liked my story, but not my art. Now, I draw a certain way because of my disability, and yes, I have a disability, it’s a little known fact.
However, every person that I spoke to about publishing my book said the same thing, “sorry, your art is too different for us. It is not the traditional comic book art.” This hurt, to be perfectly honest, and I felt like they wanted me to change something that I could not change.
Have you ever felt like that? I was so sad and mad, but I was bound and determined, I wasn’t going to give up. And now, here I am, with the second installment of my Starkeeper series, (this time self-published) on January second of this year.
My books are for sale (beside greats like Startrek and
Spawn) at Carry-On Comics, which is a comic store in Waterloo, because of my
perseverance and my belief that I can achieve whatever I set my mind to.
The independence and responsibility of self-publishing has led me to have the drive and motivation to promote my books, how and where I want. Also, I am going to go to events such as Toronto Comic Con and be an exhibitor in Kitchener Comic Con that I absolutely cannot wait for!!!!
As if that wasn’t awesome enough, I've also been given the opportunity to write a prequel to my series, to be included in an anthology, by a local comic book publisher, called Runciman Press, which I'm extremely grateful for and excited about!So, the thing that I want to leave with you today is this; always, always, believe in yourself.
This is so important, because it doesn’t matter who you are, or how many no’s you get, if you believe in yourself, then you can do anything you want, and if you want to reach for the stars, then by all means, reach for the stars!
Thank you! Have a great night.