It all began in grade school where teachers insisted I choose one of their assigned books for a report when I was already swamped with my own selections. What's more, we were actually required to say we liked the book, cite our favorite part and explain why. That was when I decided to read a section at random and do some creative thinking. Oddly enough, that dubious approach got me singled out as most brilliant. From there it was on to school newspapers, which gave me the chance to interview everyone from the head of NYC schools to the NYS governor, terrific fuel for my science fiction novel Mars Armor Forged, which is partly political drama.
The first stories I got paid for were erotica on request from fellow high school students. Ah, the 1970's! The first "legitimate" paychecks for my words were for creating marketing research surveys in college. If you count that, I've been continuously paid to write one thing or another for over 30 years.