Thursday, December 13, 2012

Meet the Authors of Make Believe

I’ve always been interested in what draws people toward writing and how they got started, so today I’m asking the authors of the Make Believe anthology this very question:  What got you started in writing?

In order of their story appearance in the anthology:

Terri Rochenski
I went to public school starting in 8th grade. Those 'choose your own adventure' stories were all the craze. I read every one the library had to offer and thought, "I can do this!" I wrote three or four which I read to my younger brothers till they fell apart. Then I thought, "I'm going to write a novel". It was a fantasy adventure about a little gnome named Gundi. That was only the beginning of my dreaming. :)

J. Keller Ford
I started writing when I was around five years old but it wasn’t until high school I realized I had potential. My English teachers loved my writing and encouraged me to pursue my talents. Like so many of us, though, I ended up going a different direction and I put my writing aside. Twenty-five years later, I returned to writing. In 2011, I completed the first manuscript in a YA fantasy trilogy. I am currently working on the remaining two, and my short story, The Amulet of Ormisez, was published by J. Taylor Publishing. Other short stories are in the submission stage.

Lynda R. Young
I blame an ear infection. Sounds odd, but it rendered me close to deaf when I was young. For a long time no one suspected because I’d learned to read lips. But I didn’t catch everything, so I stopped trying and retreated into my own little worlds. My mum discovered the problem and I had an operation which fixed my hearing, but by then it was too late. I’d fallen in love with those worlds. Matched with the discovery of the joys of reading, it was inevitable I’d turn to writing.

Kelly Said
I started writing as soon as I learned how to hold a pencil to paper. I would find a quiet space to drift away into my own little world, sketching scenes and scribbling short stories. My mom still has some of those early pieces, hehe! It wasn’t until after I graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in drawing though, that I started letting the words fly, dedicating time to honing my ability to bring my imagination to life. It’s exciting to experience that flash of an idea, to write it out, edit, and rewrite until it’s told just right.

Jennifer M. Eaton
I have been writing ever since the bug hit me in high school, when for some demented reason I decided to write a story for my friends. I ended up writing one chapter a night (under high peer pressure) and 800 or pages later (yeah, ouch) I had my first novel. Well... several novels later I finally decided to try and get something published, and Whalla! Here I am. Before now, writing was more of a pleasure sport for me. I really enjoy the process and the creation of a new world. I am so thrilled to now be able to share one of my stories with the world. It is really an amazing feeling.

J.A. Belfield
What got me into writing is a question I get asked a lot. Whilst I’d love to have some deep and meaningful answer, I just don’t. The truth of the matter is, the reason I started writing was because I had crazy-a$$ed dreams most nights, and even crazier-a$$ed daydreams, and way too much time on my hands due to being a housewife and the kidlets being in school. I mean, there’s only so much housework a bird can do before she starts to get a little stir-crazy, right? So, I sat down one day … and I began to write.

How did you get started in writing?

--
As part of the Make Believe Blog Tour:

I’m over with Kelly Said at her blog for a glimpse into my writing world (scary). I'd love to see you over there. Click here.

I am also over with Jennifer M Eaton so I strapped on those roller skates again. I'd love to see you over there. Click here.


#MakeBelieve

71 comments:

  1. 800 page novel? Tolstoy would be impressed. :) It's interesting to read about how other people started writing. I started writing short stories in grade school; one of my teachers assigned a short story as a class assignment and I just kept writing more stories. It was a lot more fun (and less painful) than playing dodgeball with the other kids.

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    1. Thanks for popping over to Kelly's blog. I really appreciate it.

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  2. I like that they are all different! Didn't know you'd almost lost your hearing, Lynda. I was too old for the Choose Your Own Adventure Books, but I do remember there were a lot of them.
    Thanks for sharing, guys!

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    1. They were tons of fun. I'd go back & change my adventure until I read every page of every book. :)

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    2. I was never too old for those choose your own adventure books ;)

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  3. It's always fun to read how people get into this writing-thing. Nice post!

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  4. I kinda feel like the odd one out, as everyone else began writing fairly young, and I didn't even 'try' until I was 36. O_o

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    1. A lot of people would argue that you were probably in a better place starting at 36. I wrote complete rubbish in my teens ;)

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    2. And look at you now. How many novels do you have out??? :-)

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  5. In fourth grade my first story came to life. After that, nothing but a publishing blur....HAH! Picked up again in community college, died off again until the end of my first half century. Third time around, maybe a charm.

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    1. I quit writing only once and regret it so much that I'll never quit again. Good luck with your third time.

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  6. you read lips? What wasn't I informed? You could be a valuable addition to my small spying and world domination business....

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    1. Well, I'm almost blind now (not literally, but some days it feels like it) so the reading of lips is a lot harder these days.

      Wait, if you're in the spy business, does that mean you also wear a tux (other than at your Gala nights).

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    2. nope, me is usually scantily clad, and when on duty me wears a midnight blue catsuit LOL

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    3. Can you send me a photo of you in a catsuit? Pretty please!

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    4. There's always Braille lip-reading, Lynda. Gotta get up close, though, and then they know you're doing it...what with your fingers on their mouths and everything. It's the pits if you're trying to spy.

      But a pic of Dezmond in the catsuit would be great. I could use another screensaver. :o)

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    5. no, no... pictures of me in a catsuit (especially in sparkly Christmas edition) are very lethal and I use them only with my enemies!

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    6. There's a sparkly Christmas edition!??!!!! I sooo want to see this, Dezzy!

      And lol Mike.

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  7. My sister and I LOVED 'Choose Your Own Adventure's! But though I loved reading and I had fun making up my own stories, I rarely wrote them down. My sister had been labeled the "writer" in the family. I was the dramatic one in plays and such. So I didn't feel like I was good enough to even attempt it. But when years passed and my sister didn't choose writing as a career and I had a story that was begging me to put it down on paper, I asked her permission to write. I know it sounds silly. But my sister is a sensitive soul and I did not want to invoke her ire.

    She was surprised that I would think I'd have to ask. "Do whatever you'd like. You don't have to ask me." So I did.

    Three years later, the story has morphed and changed. I have learned (more of) the craft of writing and I'm getting closer to my goal of having my stories between the covers of a book.

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    1. I loved reading this story, Amelia. And I'm so glad you had that conversation with your sister and are writing now.

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  8. A fun post! I use to read those Choose Your Own Adventure stories too. I even wrote a few myself when I was a kid. I was writing stories from the moment I knew how to print. Acting them out with stuffed animals before.

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    1. Roll playing with stuffed animals works a charm!

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  9. I was always creating adventures for me and my brother and sisters growing up. But in those days, I would take the popular actors or singers and place them into my stories. Now my characters come from my own imagination. Great post, Lynda. Thanks everyone for sharing.

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    1. Ha, you brought back a memory. I did that too when I was young! hehehe

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  10. Wonderful post, Lynda, I love discovering the worlds of our writer friends! I wrote (and hand illustrated) my first book in grade 3 - it was hilarious, and I really wish I'd kept it! I've been writing basically my whole life. Thanks to all for the terrific share, and best of luck with the anthology! ~ Julie :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Julie. It's a shame you don't have that first book anymore.

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  11. Great to meet all of you!

    I never considered being a writer. Never mind that I've always been a fiction junkie. Never mind that I've always had stories, characters, and dialogue in my head. Never mind that all my business jobs have involved writing in some way - ads, proposals, etc. Never mind that I've always made up other lyrics for songs. One day I learned that not everyone had stories in their heads. Who knew? A writer was born.

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    1. Oh I loved your story, Carol! The discovery that not everyone had stories in their heads must've been an amazing moment.

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  12. Mmm.... to be honest I've been writing for as long as I could write.... I think the first time I really wrote something was when my gran (who's a published author/poet) encouraged me to write down some silly rhyme I'd made up.

    :-)

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    1. Looks like writing runs in the family! It's nice to have that kind of support.

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  13. Back when I was a kid, in the days of unlocked doors and friendly neighborhoods, we had a bookmobile come weekly during the summers. Read so many books per week and give an oral book report...yes, I actually did that - on my own - during my vacation. Got a certificate...I was always prize-driven. :o)

    I got into a series called Encyclopedia Brown, about a whiz-kid detective. That helped me start writing shorts about a set of twins solving mysteries. Those were my first "novels." Been writing ever since, but only now pursuing it.

    Thanks, Lynda, for the back-stage pass. That's what these get-to-knows have felt like. Nice.

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    1. OMGosh, I forgot about our bookmobiles!! I used to get books all the time when I was a kid, not to mention all the ones I got from the library. thank you for bringing back that memory!! :-)

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    2. Loved it when the bookmobile and the ice cream truck would come on the same day. I lived on that sidewalk!

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    3. aw, I feel like I missed out as a kid. There weren't any bookmobiles in my area. I'm not even sure if we had them in Australia. They sound amazing!

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  14. Love how everyone comes to writing in different ways. That's crazy about your hearing. I'm glad they were able to fix it with an operation. My father had the implant surgery about two years ago, and it helped some with his hearing.

    And I think I said this on the blog once, but I really started officially writing in high school after taking a Shakespeare class. Swoon. I fell in love with the written word. And the same teacher taught creative writing too, so it was a natural move for me to make.

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    1. I think I appreciated Shakespeare more once I left school. While in school I avoided learning as much as I could. Silly me. It sounds like you had an awesome teacher.

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  15. I began a writing career with a foreign adoption-gone-terribly-wrong. When I returned home, everyone told me I should write a book to memorialize my horrific experience. My usual response was, "Write a book! That could take all day." Little did I know.

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    1. ah, if only it could've taken all day ;)

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  16. Wow, that's crazy stuff about your hearing. I'm so glad they were able to correct it. You know what I find so cool about all of this? I'm blown away that in spite of all of our different backgrounds and walks of life, the six of us wound up 'here' together. When I was growing up, computers were dreams and the idea of people having one on their desks was inconceivable. And forget about the WWW where you could talk to people from around the globe in seconds. And yet, here we are, with our own stories, celebrating our success with each other and all of you. It just blows me away. I love this whole writing thing and the people I've met along the way. :-) Thanks for having us today, Lynda. I am so blessed.

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    1. Makes you feel like something is guiding you, doesn't it Jenny?

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    2. I'm in total agreement, Jenny, even though I grew up with a brother who loved everything about the web and played with it at its early stages, which meant for me it's always been around.

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  17. This was so interesting Lynda. Each story had the same feel--all were compelled to write. I'm glad your hearing was fixed BTW.
    I lived in the country when I was a child and the weekend newspapers were the highlight of my week. I pored over all the kids' sections and joined clubs. I wrote stories and most were published! I was hooked on storytelling from then on, but always felt I didn't have enough life experience to pen a novel until a few years ago. I've been trying to finish one ever since, lol!

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    1. I was told I didn't have enough life experience to pen one. That didn't stop me though. How awesome to get stories published when you were a child!

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  18. The only thing I write are papers. And I only write those because I don't have a choice. :P

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  19. Love all these answers to the "How did you get started?" question. I'm with the one who was 5 when she started, I would have been about that too, but I was drawing from a much younger age.

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  20. Good to hear everyone's insights to their writing journey. I also remember when the 'choose your own adventures' were popular and have plans to write a monster one for kids in 2013.

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  21. I enjoyed learning more about you and the other authors. I'll check out the links.

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  22. I started writing accidentally. I was living alone in a new area so decided to take an evening class. Creative Writing was the only one sounded remotely interesting that still had spaces.

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  23. Thanks for sharing your stories. Some of start our writing careers "accidentally."

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  24. I love this post. I find it really interesting finding out how other writers started out.

    I enjoyed writing when I was young, but didn't seriously try until a couple of years ago. I wasted many years by not starting earlier, but I'm here now! :)

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    1. I feel like I wasted a lot of early years as well, but at the same time those years keep me going now because I don't want to waste any more. Thanks, Rebecca.

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  25. great getting to know more authors! wishing you all happy high sales!

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  26. I find writer's beginnings intriguing as well. It was fun to see the variety here. We all have a story to tell!

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  27. Loved your tale, Lynda! Perfect example of why we should be cautious about labeling children and throwing around the word 'disability'. You weren't unable to do anything, you just found a better way. :-)

    Glad you found your words.

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    1. The funny thing was I was so young that I didn't know something was wrong with me and, because the hearing loss was so gradual, I was able to adapt. Thanks EJ.

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  28. I love these stories! They are amazing. Also, that's really interesting about your ears and hearing Lynda! Who woulda thought? :)

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  29. Thank you for sharing the journeys of all those writers. I'm glad your hearing is back, and you kept your love of stories!

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  30. It is nice to hear about other writers' journeys. Thank you, Lynda, for sharing this. Hopping over to check out the other posts.

    Happy weekend! :)

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  31. That's a heck of a group effort! I have enough problems just getting along with myself.

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  32. I enjoyed reading this. I'm glad you didn't have any permanent damage from your ear infection. It was probably scary!

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    1. It was more scary getting my hearing back. Everything was so LOUD!!! lol.

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  33. I always like hearing about how other writers fell in love with writing. I realized that I loved making stories up back in the first grade when my teacher and principal commended me on a piece that I had written. I saw what kind of effect writing could have and enjoyed that aspect.

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  34. These are all great stories and I especially enjoyed yours. It's amazing how well you coped with your hearing loss. I'm so glad that it was later restored, and your creativity continued to soar. Julie

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  35. Its nice to read about other writer's journeys. I think you mentioned that you had nearly lost your hearing. Amazing how you found ways to cope with it. Hugs.

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  36. I love hearing about how other people started writing. Wow! 800 pages is a lot! And that's so neat how you started, Lynda! Glad they fixed the hearing loss.

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  37. It's really interesting to learn about other writers and their beginnings. I'm glad you got your hearing back!

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  38. Great post!
    I enjoyed learning more about everyone. :)

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  39. That was great reading about other authors!
    I have always had stories going on in my mind. I wrote (by hand) my first book when I was 11. But teachers in high school crushed my desire to write with discouragement and low grades. Took me 20 years to start again. Xx

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    1. Yikes. It's a shame about those teachers, but at least you are writing now.

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  40. great post Linda! it's always interesting to hear how other writers got started. fascinating...

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