Ever since I was a young child, I've had a fascination with typewriters and typing. I have a picture of me at two years old, gleefully typing away on one of those old typewriters that dinged at the end of a line. Before I could read and know what I was typing, my dad would take my typed strings of letters and read back my gibberish with great flair and animation. I loved it and would laugh and laugh and laugh. I'm sure that's where my love affair with typing began.
Also growing up my best friend, her brother and I got to listen to their father tell amazingly creative and funny stories, made up just for us! Then when we'd go hiking or on long journeys, everyone would tell a group story - one person started and then everyone took turns adding to the story. We had so much fun! I'll never forget the flying bunk beds or the battling eggbeaters that would never die off... Little did I know I was being prepared to use my imagination in the years to come.
My best friend and I made an attempt at writing a story together and I made a few attempts on my own, but they didn't get off the ground. In high school, I enjoyed writing essays, some poems and lots of letters. My mom was great at giving me writing prompts, and my dad was an excellent editor and really helped to hone my skills. Sometime in high school I also started keeping a journal. At one point I wrote so much I would go through one journal about every three months! I still like keeping a journal.
In college I continued to enjoy writing. I wrote a few articles and papers worth mentioning. I even toyed with the idea of changing my major to English, but settled on Social Work instead - my goal was to work with orphaned and abandoned children in other parts of the world.
I didn't start writing my first novel until after college. I was teaching some young people how to start writing a story, and I made up an example to show them. I liked my example and decided to keep going with it. Eight years later (yes, eight!) it's now published.
Some of my favorite authors, with the risk of seeming unoriginal, are Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and L'Engle. My travels to over 25 countries on six continents have also helped to shape my writing.