One of the most common questions I’m asked is ‘when did you start writing?’
The truth is, I’ve been writing forever, but the real answer to that question is a little different, because for me, it’s always been the storytelling that grabbed my interest first. I lost my heart to storytelling when I was a child, sitting at the knee of my great-aunt. After making my little brother and me the best tacos in the world, she mesmerized me with her tales of ‘The Little Match Girl’ and ‘How the Tiger Got its Tail.’ She wrenched my heart, made me laugh and cry. She fed my love of reading and learning. Perhaps it was inevitable that I followed in her footsteps.
From there, the world of storytelling simply expanded. I began babysitting when I was twelve years old, and whenever I put the kids to bed, I would make up a story with them as the hero or heroine. Typically dragons, princes, princesses, inescapable towers, and evil villains were involved, though many a stuffed animal ended up in the adventures. Turtles, lambs, bears and pink ponies would be kidnapped and carried off to the tower, and of course a small but brave prince or princess would fly to the rescue on the back of a vanquished dragon.
As to writing, well, my love of writing was my great-aunt’s gift as well. When I was eight, I attended a Camp Fire Girls’ camp for a week—it seemed like a month. I wrote tear-stained letters to my great-aunt and after I returned home she told me I had a gift. That my letters evoked pictures in her mind.
My great-aunt has long since passed away, but I look up and smile sometimes. My inner fire for storytelling and writing was her gift to me. I pray I do her justice.