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When I consider my love of words and my burning desire to be a writer, I find these things so deeply rooted in my soul that it seems almost impossible to discover their origins. But when I look back on the paths I took, I see that it all began when I was about twelve. My mother and I had taken a trip to her hometown, the large city of Mashhad. Mashhad held nothing of interest for me except a renowned bookstore, which my mother had mentioned to me often. For a boy whose sole desire was to read a good novel, the bookstore was a promising tourist attraction.
When we finally visited the bookstore, I saw that it was deserving of its reputation: it was huge, elegant, with three floors and thousands of books. As I entered, I felt as if I had fallen down a rabbit hole: this wonderland of books was all mine! But after a few minutes it became clear to me that the rabbit hole was nothing but a bear trap, for there was no sign of teen novels among those piles of books. My quest finally ended in a miserable shelf of fantasy novels by foreign writers.
Disappointed, I picked a book with the most appealing title: Knights of Dark Renown by David Gemmell. My mother showed the book to an idle sales assistant at the bookstore and asked him if the book was appropriate for a teenager. The man took the book, looked at it and said, with indifference, “Yes of course.” His tone was not totally convincing, but my mom agreed that I could have the book. I paid for the book myself, and a hefty price too! Still, I felt happy since I harbored a fragile hope that the book was going to be good.
As soon as I got the chance, I started reading the book assiduously. After the first few chapters, I stopped. There was no point in reading any further. I had to accept the bitter truth: the book was no good. I could not even understand it. Perhaps it was not suitable for my age after all.
Soon after this terrible disappointment, it was time to travel back home. Daunted by the prospect of sitting in the back of the car for twelve hours, I reached out to my only possible solace, the book that had so disappointed me. I picked up the story where I had left off. I do not know why the book had not spoken to me before, but now as I read, it began to cast its magic spell over me. Hours later, when I had finished it, I literally felt that my life had changed forever.
The book was beyond a masterpiece. It was glamorous and magical, and I knew I needed to be part of this magic. It was on that day I promised myself that I would be a writer — a man of magic. About eight years later my first novel was published. And when I held my book in my hands, the twelve year old boy, who still lives deep within me, said to me, “This is just the beginning....”