I donít doubt that there are folks who knew from their first written word that they were born to be writers. I figure they are the lucky ones. My induction into storytelling took a sneakier route.
My first exposure to the literary world came from my mother. I grew up with the memory of her curled into her rocking chair, busily writing her masters thesis. I could see that writing required a body to sit in one place for endless hours. At that time, I was more interested in things that allowed me to move--activites such as ballet or flying over fences on the back of a horse.
Ironically enough, years later as an art student at San Diego State University, I painted and drew in the very rooms where my mother had slaved over texts of famous authors. The college had converted the old library into a wonderful open painting studio.
After receiving my B.A. in Fine Arts, I developed an interest in childrenís book illustration. It wasnít long before I became hooked on the idea of words to go along with the pictures in my head. Little did I know, that the tales Iíd heard of my grandfatherís boyhood in rural Alabama would feed my need to tell similar stories of small towns and family relationships. When I picked up my pen to write, my voice leaned toward the familiar ones from my childhood.
The bond between my stories and my family history has grown stronger over the years. Iíve found a wealth of inspiration from my ancestors, whom I now dub my story angels as bits and pieces of the places they lived weave their way into my fiction.
I try to incorporate humor, warmth, and I hope, a bit of my grandparentsí wisdom into my stories. I canít guarantee I wonít make you cry, but I hope I will give you an entertaining story that will live long in your memory.