I've loved stories since I was a kid and read all the Nancy Drew books I could get my hands on. Okay, I read a million True Story mags as well, under the covers with a flashlight. I read Gothic Romance when I was a young mother because that's what my neighbor read and she brought them to me by the dozens. They got me through teething and diaper rash. Then I turned to contemporary writers such as Anne Tyler, Bobbie Ann Mason, and Lee Smith - I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Then, I discovered Jeanne Ray and Sophia Kinsella, and Elizabeth Berg among many others whose work I adored. When you've read everything you can find to read I believe you turn naturally to writing your own stories. I realized I needed more education and took some additional English courses, public speaking, creative writing, literature. Then I joined local writers groups. I attended writing conferences and author readings. It all seemed to progress naturally. I started selling essays to newspapers around the country, then I started writing short stories. After a few of those sold, I realized I wanted to write stories with more depth and detail so I turned to novel writing. I still love the essay form and occasionally write one that appears here and there in a newspaper. I also like both the short story form and the novel form. My stories are all informed by my West Virginia heritage. My relatives and history there go back to both the Civil War and the Revolutionary War.
I guess I'll be carried out with pen and paper in hand.