101691 interviews created 

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

1) The books lying around the house - mainly my mother's on First Aid and psychology, and my father's on sound engineering and keeping hens!! Seriously.

The first fiction books I read were from the school library - I don't remember any of their names, but I do remember feeling like I'd been transported to another world, and I wanted lots more of it. When I got a ticket to the grown-ups' library, it was like being given my own goldmine.

2) At school we had to write short stories based on a theme the teacher gave us. We were given a time limit, so I had to learn to write fast.

3) My teachers. It never occurred to me to show my efforts to anybody else.

The first book I remember reading was the bible. My Mom always had one in our home. In my early years I wrote on a scrap sheet of paper with crayons and I loved illustrating my own work! I wrote a book about a cat in an early elementary grade; I believe 1st or 2nd. I grew up very poor which actually gifted me with a very active imagination! My parents were the first to read my writings. 

That's a difficult question! I read plenty of textbooks whilst studying medieval history, but that now seems so long ago...
I always enjoyed creative writing at school, and would spend many hours creating comic versions of novels and plays, using friends and teachers in the key roles. Professionally, I wrote because I wanted to express my love of history and the intricacies of the 12th & 13th century financial institutions that - on the surface - may appear remote, inaccessible or even dull, but in reality are a source of endless fascination, as well as holding the answers to many of the key political events and personal decisions that we read about in textbooks.
So I guess I was first read by historians and students, who used my work on the reigns of Henry II, his sons and grandson, to look at the past in a different light.

I can't honestly say I remember my first book, there were the obviously the Spot the Dog and such growing up. I do remember the first book of significance I read, I was slow to learn to read, and this was a massive achievement. My dad gave me a copy of Frank Herbert's Dune to read. I did read it too, most of it was over my head I was maybe nine or ten at the time, but I loved it. I've read it every year since.

I've always been a story teller, whether its the artful lie of youth, or telling an actual story I thought up. My imagination has always been there, and for as long as I could remember I've tried to write a story in some form. The very earliest story I tried to write, that I can remember was one about a spaceman, I think it was meant to be me when I grew up, he was flying through space in his ship. There was probably only a couple of dozen words, spread across a whole book of paper.

Of course the first to read what I wrote was my parents, and the rest of my family - I'm fairly sure they were just tolerant, maybe a little proud that a boy that couldn't read very well was still trying to write. Since then, I've quietly been sharing my writing with people online, only really drawing my friends attention to it, but that will change.

I honestly do not recall my first book, however my favorite book was carious George as well as Pippy long stockings.. from there many others. From adventures to romance.. 

My reading was similar to everybody else's. Start with The Three Little Pigs, graduate to Judy Blume, Conan, The Destroyer, Faulkner, Tolstoy. It is like wine. Newbies like it sweet, old hands appreciate depth and complexity. This is why I find the record number of Harry Potter readers so reassuring. Many of them will mature into better readers and love books. The future of books, simply based on a generation brought up on Harry Potter, is very good. 

I was reading avidly as a child, so I don't recall a time when I wasn't reading.

I began writing simply out of love of what I was reading - I recall just using it as a mimicking exercise really until I began to form my own ideas and stories - they didn't make a lot of good sense but they were attempts at the imagination in word form nevertheless. I simply loved the exercises in class when they would give you a title or the first line of the story and you had to come up with something. Limitless potential!

One of the first things I wrote was my own version of The Odyssey in class accompanied with illustrations. The first people to read what I wrote were my teachers and parents, therefore.

I began reading for enjoyment in elementary school. My favorite book was Chocolate Fever by Robert Kimmel Smith. In the seventh grade, we had creative writing assignments. I wrote ridiculous stories to make myself laugh. I got back into writing with poetry years later. I received a lot of good feedback when I shared my poems with friends and family, which encouraged me to pursue getting published. 

The first significant book I read was Wuthering Heights by E. Bronte. I didn't come from a 'reading' family, and it wasn't until I went to Secondary School, that I was challenged to read. The power of the written word really took me by surprise. The pages of my copy of Wuthering Heights are prematurely aged, from the constancy of times read.

My working life involved report-writing of various subjects and lengths, though giving little personal satisfaction. Literature studies at University were more enjoyable. Yet my heart-hunger was to create. I retired early, in my 40's, an ancient age for a novice writer. 'Forget the Former', my first book, was published a few years later.

Initially, I was careful, even scared, to show it to anyone. Apart from a couple of friends, I knew I needed some comments for the back of the book, so I went to influential people. And sighed with relief when the feedback was good.

I first read a lot of Dr. Seuss and now it is mostly Redwall stuff.

Began to write? Well in early school (elementary level) it was mandatory to some degree and never stopped. Wasn't until I left high school that I started writing to write. Unless you count some of my old comics.

As for people reading what I wrote, that was friends. Supportive friends, people I knew could give me the thumbs up but at the same time point out my "their/there" mistake.

My first book was probably one of the Dick & Jane series, but my most memorable first read book is "The Giving Tree".

I’ve always loved to write. I have a collection of one-page stories that really are a journal of my life perspective on random events. Writing this novel however, was the highlight of my writing career thus far probably because it happened rather unexpectedly.

Fortunately, one of my dearest friends is an editor as well and was willing to read "Midnight Omen Deja vu" in its rawest form. I have other close friends who are now reading the first edition. Their reviews will be posted on my website: www.martimelville.com.

I started reading at a very early age and "The Cat in the Hat" dictionary seems to be prominent in my memory. But for "real" books, I'd say it was the Bobsey Twins series, followed by Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys. I actually remember starting to write in a journal after reading "Harriet the Spy." I was about the same age as the main character and I thought it was great that she went around and wrote down her observations and comments.

I'm sure my teachers were the first to read what I wrote - especially essays and reports which I remember doing plenty of in school, well before the days of computers, Internet and Google!

I was brought up on a diet of Enid Blyton and her 'Fives' series. Later that evolved into the more adult Perry Mason stories, Bulldog Drummond and Agatha Christie. I started writing when my children were toddlers and I made up bedtime stories to read them. At the time they were popular, now they would be considered old-fashioned. My daughter kept those smudgy copies for many years. I think she still has them tucked away somewhere.

The only thing I was ever good at at school was 'composition' and invariably my story was one of those read out to the class. Years later, when I got around to writing seriously, the first people to read my work were my companions in a local writing workshop. I also joined an on-line workshop and their combined critiquing methods was invaluable.

An ilustrated version for children of "A midsummer nights dream" of Shakespeare 

It was sixth grade when I was given an assignment to write a one-page story using four specific sentences. Eight pages later, and well into the night, I was thrilled to find out how my story ended. I was asked to stand and read it in front of the class, and they actually stood and applauded for me. 

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