I started devouring books around second grade and by around fifth grade, I was reading adult fiction along with young adult and middle grade fiction. After lots and lots of fiction, it was a non-fiction book that first offered me that siren’s call to writing my own stories. I was thirteen years old. It was an old textbook and after reading just one essay, I knew I had to be a writer. I started writing stories out by hand and then enrolled in a typing class as soon as I was allowed to. I got a little portable manual typewriter and started submitting manuscripts. I had a dozen rejection slips before I gave it up and ran away to join the ministry.
After a decade immersed in that, I came back to it in my later twenties. It must have stuck because here we are, twenty years after I started getting serious about writing, and I’ve got some books of my own out in the world. Looking back across those two decades, I can see the writing books that really helped me stretch and grow and find my storytelling legs. I talk about them a bit below, introducing each with a quote to give you a bit of each book’s flavor.