Saturday, February 07, 2015

Q&A: When did you know?


Interviews are part of a publishing author's life, and I'm glad they are. It's no secret I enjoy doing them as part of letting readers know more about each of my novels as they release. I've been asked great questions, surprising questions, sometimes the same questions over and over again, which indicates a high level of interest in certain aspects of writing and the writing life.

Here on the blog (where I've been quiet of late, I know) I'm going to snag questions from past interviews that I found most interesting to answer. Maybe delve a little deeper with my answer. Create a series of posts. I hope you'll find them interesting. If they spark more questions, post them in the comments and I'll answer.

Let's begin at the beginning...

How did your love of words begin?  When did you know you wanted to be an author?

My love of words must have begun at a very early age. I don't have a strong memory of learning to read, though it probably happened in first grade with Jane and Spot and the rest. I also don't remember how soon I began seeking out my own reading experiences, but again it must have been at a very young age. 

I know my love of words was firmly cemented by the time I was nine years old. One day my best friend announced she'd written a story. I guess it never occurred to me before then that I could write a story, as well as read them. Suddenly my reading and story world wasn't constrained to what I found in the pages of library books. I could create my own! It was a bright and shining notion, too magical and intriguing an idea not to give it a try. 

Yellow Feather and the Wild Mustang came into being, and I was hooked on storytelling. I wrote another story soon after (with chapters!) about a wolf pack, a year-in-the-life-of story as a pack raised a litter of pups, based strongly on (okay, a shameless imitation of) the book The Wolf, by Michael Fox, which I adored above all others in the fourth and fifth grades.

When did I know I wanted to be an author? All through my teens I had the niggling urge to write a “serious, grown-up” sort of story, and made a few false starts that fizzled out, never holding my attention long enough to finish them. It wasn’t until my early twenties that I buckled down and got serious about pursuing novel-writing as anything like a career. That was in 1991. Once I finished that first novel, I knew this was how I wanted to spend my days. 

Many more novels followed. Mine was a long apprenticeship! It only took until 2013 to see a "first" novel published. 

Right: the slightly new and updated cover for Burning Sky, which is entering its second printing.

What are your earliest reading memories? Did you have a favorite childhood book? If you write, when did that writing bug bite you?

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