My parents and grandmother instilled in me a love for reading when I was young. I can remember my brother and I listeing to my mother read through books like The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Little House on the Prairie books. I also read voraciously on my own. A trip to the library with my grandmother was the best thing in the world. I even worked in the library in elementary school and junior high.
It was also in junior high that I tried my hand at writing romance/mysteries - long hand. I never finished one of those, but I think the writer in me was always there, hoping to come out some day. Unfortunately, long and boring research papers in college, and those essay tests written in blue notebooks, killed any desire I had for writing.
It wasn't until I was looking for a home school writing program for my children that I discovered I wanted to write. I read through a series of books about writing - Bird by Bird, How to Write the Best Damned Novel, and others I don't remember. Still, I didn't write. I read about it, journaled about it and thought about it. But I was afraid to write.
When I finally read No Plot, No Problem by Chris Baty, I realized that I had to try his method: write 50,000 words in 30 days. I entered his "National Novel Writing Month" contest in November 2005 and wrote the story that was begging to come out of me. It was a journey I will never forget - and one that showed me that I really am a writer.
My major influences in writing: Francine Rivers, Karen Hancock (my un-met writing mentor), C. S. Lewis