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We all have that person or group of people who influenced our writing. Those who took our initial spark of inspiration and threw gasoline on it so it really caught fire within us.
For me, it was family. I've had a ton of wonderful critique partners, beta readers and writing buddies since then, but I never would have gotten that far without inspiration from a young age.
My Mom – A lover of books and well-written characters of all kinds, she introduced me to reading early on and I never looked back. She also is responsible for most of the movies, tales and made-up backyard adventures that gave wings to my imagination. She let me sing and dance to Disney songs, spend hours at the library and, as I’ve grown up and gotten serious about writing (Let’s admit it. I STILL sing Disney songs and go on backyard adventures), she’s been there to support me at every step.
These days, we swap books frequently and get each other hooked on new series. We have a standing agreement that I’ll take her to any big conferences I go to, and whenever I write an ending, she’s the one I call on to make sure I’ve nailed it. Trust me…if she’s thinks it doesn’t do justice to the characters and the overall story, she lets me know.
My Dad – The genetic source of my wild imagination. Our family teases us because we create all sorts of crazy, out-of-nowhere scenarios in our minds. I remember being very young when he first shared with me his only fiction piece, a story he’d written about being out in the woods.
As a kid, I thought he was THE COOLEST for having written an actual story just for fun. I mean, I knew authors existed (by this time, I was thoroughly addicted to books), but if my dad could do it, that meant I could too! The first time I came home with a significant fiction assignment in grade school, my dad read it. Then, he turned to my mom and said, “How is it I can see exactly what she’s describing?” That encouragement has stuck with me.
My Grandpa – No one, and I mean no one, spins a tale like my grandpa. Growing up in small town America, he has stories for everything from schoolyard shenanigans to mysterious local legends. And he has nicknames to boot! For every character! I could listen to him for hours and never grow bored. He has such a love for storytelling and for the audience, and I hope at least a little of it has rubbed off on me.
And, lest I forget, I owe a lot to the rest of my family and friends too! You know who you are. Thank you guys...for all you've done, and for all I know you'll continue to do. Love you!
Who’s part of YOUR writing heritage?