Why do you write?
I don’t really know what I think about things until I move my thoughts around on the page, so my writing always starts out as an essential conversation with myself.
My cursed ‘what-if’ mind takes over next. It’s in chasing what-ifs that I end up with articles and stories. Then there’s love of embellishment. That usually leads to a serious case of fiction.
Add to that, my information junkie tendencies. Bottom line: weaving quirky information into story is an addicting kind of fun!
What was your earliest writing experience?
Writing stories for the kids I babysat when I was an early teenager. Because they wanted to know what happened next, I kept writing. It didn’t occur to me until many years later that a person might actually get something published.
Describe a day in your writing life.
I’m an early riser. I like to write soon after waking up when my dream life has not quite faded and my mundane life is not yet in focus. Because I have a day job I don’t always get an early morning scribble. When I don’t, I try to scratch away during lunch. As often as possible, I stop at random coffee shops on the way home from work, to mainline caffeine and write for another hour or two. I edit at night when my brain has lost interest in creating new scenarios.
What writers influenced you?
Three writers influenced me early. Books by Pearl S. Buck were forbidden when I was a kid, because she wrote about heathen Chinese and concubines, so of course I read all her novels at least twice. She made an exotic culture as familiar to me as the small town Alberta culture into which I was born. I wanted to be able to do that. Then I discovered Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago. Also forbidden, because it was about adultery & Communists. I read those at night, by flashlight, under the blankets. Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 opened my mind to story that had purpose beyond simple entertainment. It was possible to entertain while making social and/or political statements.