I grew up hating to read. Even through middle-grade English classes, I'd pay attention during discussions in lieu of actually reading the assignments.
That changed in eighth grade when a friend of mine introduced me to a novel he was reading. Terry Goodkind's Wizard's First Rule. As daunting a size as it was - considering my disdain for reading - he convinced me to read it with his commentary and praise for Goodkind's work.
So I borrowed that book, and within days I went out and bought it, as well as the second in the series (that was all he had written at the time).
His writing inspired me, and gave me the drive to begin writing my own story at thirteen years old. He also opened me up to literature, and because of that I filled my high school career with honors courses on both reading and writing - and I read every word in every book.
Through the twelve years since, I've followed all eleven of Goodkind's Sword of Truth novels, and chipped away at the giant stone block of my own writing - until I finally formed my story.
I'd only written about 200 pages while a teenager, and spent many lengths of time through the last decade not even thinking about it. Until last July, 2007 - starting over, I pulled all the interesting story elements from my original Darkblood novel, and churned out my 700-page behemoth by early December. (And I even cut half of my original book-one ideas and pushed them into book two.)
Edit after edit after edit over the last six months left me with my first completed book: The Neverminding: and the Atlas of Infinity.
Goodkind stirred my imagination in such a way that I've carried The Neverminding through eight books. Each has a title (and reason for it) and a several-page outline of main plot points. I also wrote a detailed history of my world. I've drawn my map, written out biographies on each and every character I created, lineages, prophecies to use and intersperse through the 5600-some pages this series will become... etcetera etcetera - easily 1,000 pages of notes.
Because of the Sword of Truth series, I love to read; I love to write. I love to create people and worlds with elaborate details that make it real. I love to visualize every situation and event that occurs in my stories. One day, I would love to see it for real on-screen, and have everyone else see what I see.