What started you on your writing journey?
I remember the day as plain as day. I was in K-Mart with money I’d earned from my job “pushing” rides at a local trail riding facility. I was twelve, too young to legally work, but they paid me cash under the table and I was working with horses! Money! For working with horses! I saw a book. It had a handsome young man with black hair looking windswept and rainsoaked clinging to a white horse with blue eyes.
A young man and a horse? I’d never read fantasy before, but to my not-quite-teenaged self, but both boy and horse crazy, it looked like a book written just for me. I fell in love with Valdemar and Mercedes Lackey. I’d read The Saddle Club, Thoroughbred Series, Walter Farley’s Black Stallion, and Marguerite Henry’s horse books. Steinbeck’s the Red Pony made me cry.
Fantasy, however, was a whole new world. I fell in love. Mercedes Lackey led to Lloyd Alexander (which my junior high library had), Anne McCaffrey (whose dragons were close to the dinosaurs I’d loved), Madeline L’Engle, and more.
I began writing, because those books took me away from my life. I was bullied, harshly so, and harassed at school. My mother lost her temper. But I could curl up in my room with books, be a “good girl”, and I wanted to write stories that gave me the same escape.
My publishing journey turned to romance, but I’m home now with my books, and stories of Valdemar still make my heart swell and I dive in, as comfortable and homecoming as a showing of the old movie International Velvet.