I blame my mother primarily for my insatiable lust for the literary. Primarily because all she did, in between bouts of craftiness, was to sit in a worn-out wicker rocking chair and read. Romances and mysteries primarily.
She sought these things out at the public library, the most reasonable place, I suppose, since we were poor, and if we had to buy that many books, we’d be unable to afford the bills.
Since I was young (about eight I believe) I insisted on accompanying her.(I was quite literate at the time, as I could read at a high school level when I was five.)
I worked my way through the children’s section quickly. (I’ll admit that the Scurry County Library wasn’t the biggest library ever) I had discovered so many awesome books, by so many amazing authors that I too became a bibliophile, a truly hard-line book lover.
It was the beginning of summer vacation, and I had finally devoured the last interesting book in the children’s section, so I had finally gathered up the courage to ask the librarian (I assure you she was scary to a little boy my age!) She was a bit perplexed when I told her that I had “finished” the children’s section, and wanted to know if it was okay to read from the adult’s section. After a moment’s reflection, she said that if I could get my parent’s approval, she’d sign off on the idea.
Needless to say, I got an official looking stamp on the back of my library card, and the head librarians’ signature. I spent no time breaking it in. When mother would come into town, I asked her to leave me at the library with a sack lunch.
Over the course of my Summer break, I managed to hone my already sharp reading skills even further. I took particular relish in (I know this is going to sound so stupid) the encyclopedias. They had a special feel and smell to them that even now makes me feel nostalgic. From Aardvark to Zymurgy I absorbed information at an absurd rate (which didn’t help my reputation as being a precocious brat) I think that even now, the Encyclopedias were my favorite part of this whole adventure.
Once I managed to separate myself from the Encyclopedia Britannica’s siren song, I found a complete collection of Alfred Hitchcock horror anthologies (Of which the title eludes me) that had me enraptured. I fell in love with horror and the macabre. Following that I discovered that Anne McCaffrey had written a novel that I hadn’t heard of. I learned why, shortly. It was titled Get Off the Unicorn, and included a graphic rape scene. Yeah. I was like eight. It very much changed my opinion of her and her writing.
My mother bought me the original red-box set of Dungeons and Dragons (back when elf and dwarf were classes!) when I was about nine. That then turned my eye to fantasy, Although I still love horror, Fantasy is where it’s at. Definitely.
I had a brief fling with the science fiction book club. They provided me with the next big name that formed me into who I am now. It was a huge honkin’ book called Myth Adventures by Robert Lynn Asprin. I wore that book out so badly that I had to rebind it myself. (Now that I think about it, I need to get another copy)
This book made me realize that my favorite genre was comedic fantasy. Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Piers Anthony (Who has actually read my manuscript!) and countless others found their way into my grubby paws. They made what I hope was the final evolution of my taste in literature.
So. Now, that’s my background in literature. Let’s get into why and how I came to write.
I’ve had a long and varied life, been comfortable at some points, homeless at others, (comfortably homeless as well) and traveled the world.
Where this part of the story starts is in a time of relative plenty. I have a job (working for Nintendo!), and am married for the second time.
My brother Travis as dyslexic for most of his life. But like seven or so years ago, he said something just went “click” in his head and he could read. He told me the great joy he found in books. He told me he had also started writing, and asked me to have a look.
So I did. And it is damned funny work.
All I should have to say is two words (maybe three?). Were-wiener dog.
There. I said it. Done. He then said something that’ll stick with me forever: “I’ve always thought that you’d be the writer, since you’re so funny and well read.”
I was floored. Now , this might be my low self-esteem talking, but I never knew he felt that way about my ability.
So he challenged me to write a book, and I took him up on it. I spent a large portion of my time at the call center for Nintendo writing this book of mine.
Months passed and it was complete, but still raw. Many more months of editing and tweaking led to a more and more finely polished work. Then I discovered Scribophile.com. Possibly the most helpful and learning environment I’ve ever found. The people there are like family to me.
So now I write. I’ve written two compete novels, started three others, and work with others on their projects as well.
Let’s jump to the present.
I’ve just graduated Umpqua Community College with an Associate’s degree and have enrolled at Eastern Oregon University, so I can become a teacher of English and literature. I really want to share the joy of writing with the at-risk kids in the inner cities.
Getting famous off of my funny side has it’s attractive points too.
And fangirls, let’s not forget about them. (haha)
My brother DID tell me I was funny after all.
But looks aren’t everything.