I wanted to be a writer since I was eight. I am a compusive reader and have always read anything in front of me, including cereal boxes, though I'll put it down if I don't think it is good, as I rapidly decompensate from bad writing. Fortunately, there's so much good writing. My mother directed me to all of the Victorian writers when I was young, so the time I was in graduate school and sat in a Victorian literature class, I only had to read one of the many books . . . the others I re-read or knew by heart. I turned to the great structuralist, magical realist and existential writers in graduate school, such as Tony Morrison, Marquez, John Barth, Camus, Doystoevsky, and read melodramas like War and Peace on airplanes. In my twenties, probably because I was so busy I couldn't digest some of the trickier abstractions, I learned to love novels with great stories, my favorite classic being The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I hated simplistic novels still, but learned to love Turow and Conroy.
I became a lawyer out of economic necessity and just loved my career, which after ten years ran exclusively to representing children. I headed legal departments, worked briefly as a legislative aide where I helped the first locally legislated children's bill of rights to come into being. I loved my career, and, fortunately, because I am an insomniac, also wrote many types of fiction including several novels, several screenplays, and the easy and shorter versions, poetry and short stories.
My legal career assisted my story telling abilities.