Imy Santiago studied Criminal Justice and Psychology at Universidad Metropolitana, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2011. As a Summa cum Laude graduate, she is the recipient of the University President medal for excellence in academic achievement. She lives on Long Island with her daughter. Currently, she spends her days nose-deep in her iPad writing new stories she hopes to publish in the near future. chasing Reese. is her first novel. When she’s not writing, you will find her chasing after her family around−with a smile on her face−determined to make her dreams come.
A little about me…
My first stab at writing started out an early age so it would realistic to say I have been writing my entire life. My parents always complained I had an overactive imagination. When I was seven, I wrote my first piece of poetry and when I showed it to my sister, she was thrilled. I remember her telling me it was really good. Like an eager child desperate to please my parents, I handed my novice poem to them with the intention of it being displayed on the refrigerator door. I don’t know how but it ended up being published in the church bulletin. That pleased my parents greatly.
As I grew older, my writing morphed into screenwriting, penning my first ever screenplay at the tender age of thirteen. My mother always told me to stop living in fiction and embrace reality but the truth was, my childhood wasn’t the greatest so I found comfort in writing stories to keep my mind occupied. When I wasn’t reading my sister’s young adult novels, I was writing songs. Coming from a long line of musicians, it became second nature to me.
Like any teenager, I met a boy and fell in love. Putting away the screenplays and songs I went back to writing poetry and penning countless love letters. My boyfriend enjoyed them but complained they were too long with complex words. Word got around that I wrote “killer” love letters, so guy friends would commission me to write their girlfriend’s Valentine’s Day card inscriptions and occasional love letters. I was easily bribed with sweets so it was a win-win situation.
As time passed, it was time for me to grow up. Going through my first heartbreak I discovered that my best writing always came from being in a dark place. I wrote many a story about loss, disappointment and redemption to get through my personal strife. Tragedy struck and my life as I knew it changed with the passing of my mother and brother. Too consumed with grief I lost my ability to write. Yet, the ideas where always there- swirling inside of my head characters speaking to me like a bad case of schizophrenia.
It wasn’t until I stepped foot back into college that my English Literature professor pointed out my writing style was different from what he had seen in all of his career. Thinking he was just commending me for a job well done, it became a standard with other professors. They instilled in me a belief that I could write and slowly but surely I regained the self confidence I desperately needed to write again.
But nothing made sense. It took me three years to write again, every idea that came made no sense. There was no structure to it but I kept writing. One day I was at work bored out of my mind. I opened a blank page on my computer not knowing what would happen next. Ten minutes later I had read back a short story that wrecked my heart. Printing it out I showed it to my co-workers and they told me I needed to expand on it.
Six months of hard work later, I completed a full screenplay based on that short story and titled it ‘SAFELIGHT’. I shared that screenplay with a few close friends and they all begged for me to turn it into a novel. After many setbacks and countless revisions, I decided to break ‘SAFELIGHT’ into three volumes.
I am pleased to announce my debut novel ‘chasing Reese. a SAFELIGHT novel (vol.1), the first of three novels, released on January 5, 2015, and it’s sequel finding Reese. a SAFELIGHT novel (vol.2) on May 26, 2015. finding Reese. a SAFELIGHT novel (vol.3) is expected to release late 2015.
I hope to continue writing more books in the not so distant future. It could be said that writing keeps me sane and brings a smile to my face. When I’m not writing, I’m enjoying a quiet life with my family on Long Island New York.