In high school we had an English teacher who made us read a book and do a report every six weeks. That’s six books a year. No problem for me at all since I read six books or more a month. She was of the modern persuasion that high school students could read whatever they wanted so I read romance books and did lovely multiple page reports on them. I tried so hard to make her see and feel the emotions I did when I read the books
It didn’t break my heart for me but for her because that “trash” had so much to offer. The words in those books brought tears, laughter and anger. They expanded my world and took me to places a small town girl could never see in reality. How could she not see that?
The more I read, the more I wanted to be able to put words on paper like those authors did. In short, I wanted to be a writer!
Years went by. Marriage at a young age. Three children in less than five years. Lots of moving and shoving my manuscripts into a box to store because with raising kids, who had time to write?
Then my kids were grown so I got out a notebook, sharpened a few pencils with good erasers and started writing. Wore out several erasers and typed the chapters into a word processor at night after I’d written all day. Finally finished two manuscripts and sent a query letter (complete with return envelope) to an editor.
She wrote back in big block letters on a piece of company stationary, “My typewriter is broken. Please send both manuscripts.”
So I printed them at about a page every five minutes, packaged them exactly as I was supposed to, kissed them for good luck and sent them to her by mail...and waited. A few weeks later I got “the call” that she wanted to buy both books. That was in 1997!
Eighty one books later, I believe I have an answer for my English teacher. “I’m so very glad I read that trash because it gave me a love for telling stories and touching people’s lives, even if only to entertain them.”
So today I’m wondering what I would be if I wasn’t a writer. It’s hard to even imagine!
If you had taken a different fork in the road, what would you be?