Bree Despain calls the day she was in a terrible car accident "the day I lived."
Before that day, she was losing her dream to everyday routine.
Married with a 4-month-old son and working a full-time job, she shoved her half-finished novel manuscript in a drawer. It languished there as she rushed through her busy days.
As she and her husband headed home from dinner with her parents, they were hit by a truck.
Because of the accident, she ended up in the hospital and underwent surgery to repair a kneecap that had been speared by a piece of metal. She also broke an ankle.
Six months after leaving the hospital in a wheelchair and following intensive physical therapy, she learned to walk again.
"I was badly injured, and when I came out of the surgery, I had this overwhelming feeling that I could've died but I didn't," she said.
"I was being given a second chance. I realized if I had died I would've had two big regrets: I wouldn't have been around to be a mother to my son, and I had never become an author."
Despain, a Brigham Young University pre-law major and graduate who discovered her love for writing late in college, lost her job as a result of the car accident. She and her husband had to move in with her parents while she recovered.
Money was tight, but somehow her husband, Brick, came up with an old, refurbished laptop computer for her to work on.
"It became my lifeline," she said. "I was flat on my back but I could still write. I've written every day since."
On the six-year anniversary of the accident, she sold her first novel "The Dark Divine," the first in a series about Grace Divine, the daughter of a pastor who has unusual powers and who deals with werewolves and the undead.
"That's the day I became a published author," she said.
"To me it was kind of a confirmation that I've made the right choice when I decided to pursue writing. I've sold four books (the three "Divine" books and an unrelated novel coming out in two years) now and my hope is that people will want to keep buying my books."
Her first book is currently No. 35 on the popular e-books list and sales are good. The second book, "The Lost Saint," is being released Dec. 28. The third is currently being written and is scheduled for release next December.
Her "Divine" series had been optioned for a movie with 1019 Entertainment with Ralph Winter ("X-Men"), Terry Botwick and Whitney Thomas.
Despain is more than pleased with her writing successes, and she doesn't mind having them compared or likened to Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" books.
"I had been working on my story almost a year before the 'Twilight' series ever happened," she said. "I appreciate her (Meyer) opening up the genre to the mainstream public. When I read 'Twilight' I was excited about it. I thought, 'She's doing what I'm trying to do.' "
Despain said it encouraged her to see another Mormon woman making a mark in the book world.
"It told me, the world is ready for this," she said.
If you go:
What: Bree Despain book signing party
Where: King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East
When: Dec. 28, 7 p.m.
Where: Barnes & Noble bookstore, 7157 Plaza Center Drive, Jordan Landing, West Jordan
When: Jan. 8, 2 p.m.
e-mail: [email protected]