What she has written:
I have a distinct memory of being three or four years old and learning to print letters. I made a bunch of letters on the back of an envelope, handed it to my father, and asked him what it said. I was devastated when he told me: “It doesn’t say anything. It’s just letters.” Already at that age, I imagined that there were stories just waiting to be told!
As to my first ‘real’ writing would have been grade 3, when one of my poems was selected for a poetry anthology. Believe it or not, I still have a copy of that publication!
My first goal is to pull readers into a story that feels REAL to them, and give them the joy of escaping from life for a little while. (That’s certainly why I read!) My second goal is to tell a story that’s an accurate reflection of the world, and expands a reader’s perceptions of life.
A) Write whatever gives you the most happiness, because there are times that finishing a story / doing revisions / copyediting a novel will feel more like torture than inspiration, and at the very least, the torture should be something you (sometimes) enjoy.
On most days, my favorite novel is whatever I’m writing at the moment, because before it’s finished, it is perfect in my mind. (This all changes once it’s finished and I can pick it apart.)
I have probably a hundred novelists that tie for first place (all the way from Margaret Atwood to Rainbow Rowell and everyone in between.) But if I had to narrow it to one, I’d go with Stephen King. He’s written one of my top 10 fiction novels (The Stand) and one of my top 10 non-fiction novels (On Writing. Honestly? That’s the only reason he edges out people like Barbara Kingsolver or John Green.
I am a classically trained painter and I love doing nature painting when time allows. I also enjoy hiking in the autumn (but not the summer, as I’m not fond of heat), travelling to beautiful places and seeing old architecture, and, when I’m feeling particularly lazy, binging on Netflix. (Stranger Things is my current obsession.)
Iwas lucky to have grown up with a father who encouraged me to do whatever I wanted to do, without question of feasibility. My dad had a great way of seeing the world in a childlike way, so differently than most adults I knew. And although he died many years ago, I still think of him often whenever I discover or do new things.
I remember visiting my uncle’s farm and George and my dad playing a practical joke on the group of us kids. They hid in the grass a little ways from the house and tricked us into thinking a bear was coming for us. The shrieks we made as we tore back to the house must have been heard for miles!
Relax. You’ve got this. And if you don’t have it right now, you’ll figure it out along the way.