"Freedom is not in doing what you want to do, but in becoming what you want to be." (Ardis Whitman)
I could just see over the counter at the library, and I stared at the librarian in disbelief. "How come there are no more books like this?" I asked, holding up my current favorite (it may have been Bedknobs and Broomsticks).
Mrs. Rogers patiently explained that sometimes authors retire or do other things, and reminded me that if I didn't read a dozen or more books a week, the library might be able to stay ahead of me.
I was still struggling with the notion that writers didn't just keep writing. After all, I was a reader, and I read even in my dreams. My days and nights were full turning pages, gripping narrative, and the excitment of living multiple lives. I checked out my choices for the week, and as I moved toward the door, I realized what I'd have to do in order to enjoy more of the kinds of books I liked. I'd just write them myself!
That decision was made when I was in second grade, but it's remained firm through the years. During the years of motherhood and caregiving, I detoured into nonfiction in order to put butter on the bread my husband brought to the table. (Nonfiction is a much quicker route to publication and sales, at least for me.)
My boys are just about grown, and I'm moving back toward the fiction writing that I enjoy. I'm dusting off old manuscripts and dreaming of new ones.
My favorite authors (though it's almost impossible to choose) are Edith Wharton, Victor Hugo, and JRR Tolkein. I also enjoy Madeleine L'Engle, CS Lewis, Jane Austen, and others.