What inspired you to become a writer? It was during my second interview that the question came up, and it has haunted me ever since. Unlike many writers, I can’t point to a time when I was seven and plopped down in front of my father’s typewriter and thought, this is it. I want to be a writer.
In fact, I distinctly remember showing up at 8AM for typing class in High School and thinking ‘Please God don’t make me have to type for a living.’ I hated pounding on those keys with my fingers half frozen in the winter and stiff from the heat in the summer.
But I digress…
There wasn’t a particular moment when I thought I was headed for the sado-masochistic journey called authorship, it was more a cumulative effect. I’d always told stories, rewritten books, movies and nightmares to have an ending that satisfied me. And to lull myself to sleep, I expanded on ideas to entertain me–which sometimes meant I was awake until the wee hours of the morning in my own fantasy world.
So the storytelling bit I would cop to at a very young age, it’s the writing part that is shocking. I really, really didn’t like English and still don’t. Part of it lies in taking someone else’s work and picking it apart and putting words in their mouths. Not my idea of a good time. Nor for that matter were the books they made us read. Bleah!
Originally I intended to draw. Charcoal and watercolor, maybe a colloage or two. I loved art. Still do for that matter. My mother is an artist, so I come by it naturally.
It wasn’t until 1997, during a hellicous 2 hour commute to my employer that I considered actually challenging my brain to tell a story with words. That first book will never see the light of day again. The second one A Christmas Village got published. It is a process and still a challenge. I still rewrite books, movies and nightmares, but that’s only in my head. For my books, I tap into my creative well and fish out characters who entertain me and still write for the mental challenge.
Even after 15 books getting the words right isn’t easy.