101691 interviews created 

What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?

I recall my mother reading with me before I began school. I also recall the "See Spot Run" books in the early years. As to reading for fun, it began the summer between the seventh and eighth grades. I spent all summer reading. The only time I went out was to ride my bike to the library to exchange a basket full of science fiction books. That was the summer I read "Ben Hur." Once I got past the first 68 pages or so, I couldn't put it down.
Writing actually began in the eighth grade. Our English teacher, whom I adored, made us write whatever we wanted. I did. It would be many, many years before the imaginative juices flowed again.'While in the military I did some technical writing, but it was not until after retirement, 1987, that I ended up writing fiction. A friend of mine wrote some stories, I read them and thought, "I can do better than this." We began writing together, him a part, me a part. Nothing published. In 1999, I got a job as a staff writer with a small daily paper. That was the first for public consumption. Come to find out, people liked it.
I recall a story I wrote about flag burning and I interviewed U.S. Rep. Charlie Stenholm for the article. My wife and I walked into a cafe and two men were sitting at the table next to us ... discussing the story. I was hooked.

The very first book I ever read that inspired me to write was: "The Courage To Write" by Ralph Keyes. It's a "must have" for your nightstand, no matter what level of writer you are. This book helped me to be open, honest and bold in my daily journal writing. At the time, I wrote for therapeutic purposes. Even though my words were completely private, I couldn't bring myself to write what I truly felt. "The Courage To Write" helped me to stop censoring my own writing. Who knew it would one day lead to a writing career?

Once I gained my writing courage, I returned to school (late in life) and pursued a journalism degree. Writing for campus news, and later contributing to local publications was enough to start a fire inside me that still continues to burn. My life is writing because writing is my life!

I was a member of the Walt Disney book club before I could even read. We would get a new hardcover colorful book every month or so & my Mom read them to me all the time. When i was able to read by myself, I relished those stories and the bright pictures that went with the words.
I began writing around the 6th grade and by 7th I started my 1st book which took me all year of science class to write. When I finished, i showed it to my parents who were stunned. My Mother just cried and my Dad was silent for a long time just rubbing his hand over the closed cover of the notebook before he found the words to ask, "Did this really happen? Did this happen to You?"
I had to laugh at their reaction because i had made the whole thing up. Shortly after, poetry consumed my pen.

I don't remember the first ever book I read, but it might have been 'Tiki Tiki Tembo' by Arlene Mosel, illustrated by Blair Lent. And even if it wasn't the first book I read, it was certainly my favourite childhood book.

I read young adult books and also when I was a teenager I tried to read a trashy romance novel, which turned out to be embarrassing even though no one else knew what I was reading!

I started writing a journal when I was seven years old and only I read that!

The first thing I read was the word 'Toyota' and I really read it backwards. I was sitting inside the van we had those days and I read the letters from the car window (that's why I read backwards). After that I had been writing my name in here and there. I think that the person who read my writings first was my mother as she was the person who taught me to write. 

I'm not sure, but I do remember reading my first book about AIDS when I was in the 6th grade and doing a book report on it. There was also a book about a mother who left her kids in the car while she went into a shopping mall, she never returned, and the oldest daughter took them and hitch-hiked to a cousins house. The book was made into a lifetime movie, but I cannot remember the name or author.
I began writing poetry as a very young girl, probably as early as elementary school. Writing is just something that has always been with me. I believe it stems from my upbringing. In my family, there was usually a one-way conversation, you were not free to express yourself, so I bottled things up and wrote them out.
The first book I wrote was a poetry book, that was read first by my husband, however some of the poems in the book were written years before I thought about making them into a book. I didn't allow many people to review my work for fear that they would use it as their own. An older woman reviewed some of my poetry and loved it, and told me that I should publish them, so I did, and now I can't stop writing.

The first big book I read was Anne Rice's 'The Witching Hour' when I was in sixth grade. I started writing when I started personal journals. The first people to read what I wrote are my very good friends. It was nice to have my story out in the open. 

I first read the prolog; When I have an idea, I just write it and it becomes a story. The first thing I write is a short poem to begin the story; my close friend 

I always read widely and from a wide range of genres.

I began to write as the blog of the letters developed and became popular. My writing was read more and more widely as the blog gained publicity in all forms of media.

Encyclopedia Britannica Children's stories. I couldn't read but I would tell the stories to myself through the pictures. I would try and write stories when I was younger but could never put them together unless they were about houses. I later learned through life to keep the ideas in my head until I was ready and could write.

A very bad literary agent. The thing was a mess and he didn't tell me until after he sent it out to publishers and said he was horrified and embarrassed at the condition of it.

Little House on the Prairie series.

By writing down stories. My mom.

Robinson Caruso was the first book I read as a teenager. My writing career began in 2004 after taking a picture at Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, that captured an image of a woman standing with a long gown. That led to writing a song followed by developing the story, Peggy of the Cove, from legend to reality. 

I remember reading Pilgrim's Progress when I was seven years old. I've been writing all my life. I used to write letters to my mother after a scolding. That was the only way I felt comfortable sharing my feelings. I wanted to be a writer. I kept journals which helped me understand and deal with all kinds of life circumstances as I grew older.

I misplaced the dream somewhere in my journey to be what and who I was expected to be. When in my late thirties I decided to reclaim my life, I developed an interest in interior design. After I studied and began working in that field, I began writing a monthly decorating column for a local print magazine. Two years into that endeavor, I re-discovered my childhood dream to be a writer. The decorating column continued for eight years, during which time, I studied for a freelance writing diploma and found my true voice and passion for writing self-improvement, inspirational and lifestyle articles.

In 2006 I retired from fulltime employment to devote my time to freelance writing. I'm living my dream.

I recall quite clearly the first "chapter" book I ever read: Black Beauty. I was perhaps in third grade at the time. I first began writing about eighth grade, beginning with poetry, short stories, and journal writing. I first shared some of my writing with a good friend and then eventually my family. 

My first ever book was a child's reader published by Blackie & Son of Glasgow which I read sitting on my mother's lap from about the age of two. As a result I had some reasonable reading skills by the time I went to school. My first piece of writing was short story hammered out on a Mettoy toy typewriter, about a boy who tried to make a space rocket in his back garden (it was around the time of Sputnik, so I'd be about 10). My mother read it and was less than impressed. My first regular work as a professional was from 1977 for DC Thomson of Dundee, writing scripts for children's comics, particular the girls' comic JUDY. Over the next few years I wrote more than 600 stories for that and other DCT publications

My first book on my specialist subject was WINE (Hugh Johnson, 1966) and I began writing on the subject from the mid-to-late 1970s. I got my first regular wine column in local papers around the country in 1981.

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