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What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
 
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I started reading voraciously when I was nine years old. I started with Hardy Boys novels and just kept going. In high school and college I read four or five novels a week along with my course work.

I started writing seriously in high school. I was serious, but not successful. I could have papered my walls with the rejection slips from science fiction, mystery and men's magazines. After graduation I put my writing on hold for a few years. When I came back to it I approached it more like a business problem, rather than an artistic expression. I've sold everything I've written since.

My family and friends have never been artistic types, so I can't say I've shared many rough drafts or unpublished works with them. So I suppose copy editors were the first to read my stuff...poor buggers.
 


Early books I read as a youngster include Pippi Longstocking, Hardy Boy, Nancy Drew and Judy Blume books. My all time favorite children's books are the Pippi Longstocking stories!

I started writing when I was 10 years old. I wanted to create stories of my own since I absolutely love to read!

The first person to read what I wrote was my sister. As I got older and started writing on a play I read scenes out loud to my sister each night. When she started asking me to read more from what I wrote, that was a huge encouragement and let me know I had skill.
 


"What did you first read" must take me back to my school years! What I read was books that were selected, mostly, by my older sister who was a member of a book club. What I have always loved are mysteries, suspense, ghost stories... So Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys are surely a blast from my past!

Actually, I consider myself more of a professional/technical writer, as opposed to creative. So much of my writing has been in response to work assignments. Even today, my primary "product" is book reviews...at the request of my client.

I enjoy writing short stories and have done quite a few of those, but never submitted any to be published... I have more fun, at my age, helping new authors get their work published and marketed...

I do a little poetry...about which I have no training or true understanding. What I find is that I enjoy what I call responsive poetry. I have no idea whether there is such a thing that is formally named. In any event, if I like a poem, written by somebody I know, I will write a "response" to it, in the same format of the original poet... It's fun and is usually appreciated by the original poet, as well.

Obviously, on the job, writing was read by all appropriate individuals at the institution where I worked. Now I co-own a book review site, so for that the author is my first reader. Then I started sharing through online bookstores, etc. I share my personal fun writing via social networks.
 


Like just about every writer I ever interviewed, I started writing as a child. I collected finely crafted marionettes, and I used to re-write fairy tales that my sister, cousin, and I performed for other kids in the neighborhood. In high school and college I wrote stories, but it took me until about the age of 40 to finally start showing my work to anyone else, and, eventually, submitting. 


My love of reading really took off when I was twelve years old and began reading my mother's Stephen King novels. From there, I determined that I wanted to write fiction, too. I wrote my first novel, Mother's Milk, in my early twenties as a participant in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Following my dad's death, I wrote a memoir titled, strange little girl: memoirs of a sad-eyed lady. I also wrote two nonfiction books, Write A Novel in 30 Days, and Unschooling: A Lifestyle of Learning. 


I have always loved to read - both fiction and nonfiction have always been important to me even as a little girl. As a kid my library books were always half and half - for every fiction book there was a non fic one. I began writing fiction at about age 7 or 8 I think - and my parents were obviously the first to read it.
I gave non-fic a twirl at University but wasn't hooked and wandered off in a haze to do something else. Serious fiction and non-fiction I began to dabble with about 6 or 7 years ago and friends and other writers were the first to read. My online critique group was the most influential and helpful - they were brutally honest whether it was good or bad which helped me build confidence and style.
 


I read a novel that disgusted me and said, I can do better. I don't remember what the novel was. Jane Comer, an English teacher, read my first humorous satire, an essay about 'Shaving Techniques'. My first efforts always dismayed me, it was so ugly and inelegant, so I've been trying to do better ever since. 


The earliest books I remember reading as a kid included several of the Robert Heinlein books, including STARSHIP TROOPERS. I tried writing similar stories when I was around 12-13, but none of the stories really came together in terms of plot and tension/suspense until the Police Chief I worked for in Huntington beach, CA, gave me the idea for a story involving a lone terrorist turned loose against a 200-officer police department (the terrorist having every advantage). A few months after I finished the manuscript, a senior editor at Bantam read it ... and I was offered a contract. 


One of my first to read was "Island at the top of the World" by Ian Cameron, I followed this with J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings". My father began writing his unpublished Sci-fi/Fantasy novel when I was a young teen, I guess he inspired me and I followed in his footsteps.

The first to read my work was my father and the rest of my family.
 


Appropriately enough, the first actual book I remember reading was called 'The Littlest Witch'. I began writing ghost stories somewhere around age eight or so. I discovered Emily Dickinson when I was eleven years old and began writing poetry soon after. Only in the past ten years or so have I begun sharing my work. I first let my roommate and best friend read my poetry, although I later discovered that my mother would often sneak peaks at whatever I left laying about my room. My introduction to (and brief obsession with) the world of Myspace allowed me to share my work in a way that helped me get over my fear of public speaking, to the point that I am now beginning my own poetry reading at a city coffee shop, Square One in Lancaster, Pa. 


My Mom read to me at a very early age and instilled a love for books in me. I started writing as soon as I could formulate words and wrote all kinds of little stories, many times drawing pictures to go with them. Of course, because she was the one who started me on this venture, my Mom was the first one who read whatever I wrote. She kept all my essays and term papers from school and college, and every clipping from my published works. 


The very first thing I remember reading after being taught by a neighborhood girl was the cover of LOOK Magazine in 1964. Jackie Gleason was on the cover, but the word GOLDWATER attracted my attention. I sounded it out, and said "What a funny name!"

The first person to read what I wrote was my mother.
 


I started reading around age 5 or so. I began writing poetry in my teens. My friend Cathy was the first to read it. 


I fell in love with Nancy Drew mystery books around age eleven. I think the first Nancy Drew novel I read was "THE SECRET OF THE WOODEN LADY." I vividly remember noticing it in the store and buying it with my own money! Shortly after, I began reading classics by Jack London (CALL OF THE WILD, WHITE FANG, etc.). I would hide the books inside of school books and read them when I was supposed to be doing lessons. One of my teachers actually made a notation in my report card that I read too much for my own good! But then again, he (Mr. Gary Thomas) was also the same teacher who inspired me to become a writer. I already wanted to be a writer at that early age and he was the one who encouraged me. He was my fourth grade teacher and would ask me to read my stories out loud in class, which made me feel special (I was very shy), since I was the only one he gave that distinction to. By the time I was twelve, writing was already a very important part of my life. 


I first read scary books. It was just something about it that capture my attention. I start to write as a form of expression and just letting all the negative energy inside of me out. I wrote short and long poems, and diary entries. Me of course, but besides myself, close friends I trusted with my feelings. 



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