I decided that I wanted to be a writer when I was a very young girl. Probably a natural result of growing up in a house filled with books. I tried to be professional, using my mother’s Royal typewriter, but I found I could write much faster with a Bic pen in a spiral notebook. I spent many years with an indentation in my finger from holding the pen too tight, and traces of blue ink on the tip of my thumb.
One of my earliest literary influences was Carolyn Keene, of Nancy Drew fame. I liked the idea of a girl going out into the world and solving things all on her own. I wanted a red roadster, a cool boyfriend, and a housekeeper. I must admit, the much older me just wants Hannah – the boy-toy and the fancy car aren’t really that important anymore.
My next big influence was Walter Farley, who wrote the classic, The Black Stallion. Yes, I was a horse-crazy little girl. About the same time I started taking horseback riding lessons, a group of cadets from a near-by military school started attending our church. One in particular was tall, fair and the most handsome young man I’d ever seen in real life. (All my previous crushes smiled at me from the pages of Tiger Beat magazine.)
So I started writing stories about an adventurous and independent young girl, stranded on a deserted island with a beautiful black horse and an equally beautiful young cadet. Since I was only ten or eleven at the time, most of my stories were about the girl riding the horse around the island while the cadet made fires and cooked fish. Now that I’m older, I could probably think of other things to do with a tall, blonde young man, but…
I stopped writing for a long time. For many years there were lots of jobs, and I was very good at some of them. But they were just stops along the way. I started up again when I was in my forties. I was determined not to waste my ‘second act’ doing something I didn’t absolutely love. Now, I can’t imagine what else I would do with my life.
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