Having grown up in the 70's I lacked the plethera of entertainment options available to the youth today. Add to this that my patents were avid word junkies (books, crossword puzzles, etc) and it was formula rife for authoringshipwannabe...
My 400 cable channel substitue was the local used book store, where a paperback could be had for less than $2.00. On days of higher cash availablity, the local mall (only blocks away) housed a sizeable bookstore.
Gary Brandner became my favorite author due to his seemingly perfect prose.
My fist brush with literary fame and fortune came in the fourth grade, where, what started as an assignement I tossed together and forgot about, turned into an award winning Haiku. A local high school (noted mostly for having graduated the legendary talk show host, Phil Donahue), had sponsored the contest. I still have the Eagle trophy and green ribbon!