When I was a teenager, the father of a friend told me something that I never forgot.
He said: “I never really knew what I wanted to do with my life until I was in my forties.”
I was 45 years old when I decided I was going to write a book. If I’d been paying attention, there were several clues from earlier in my life that this was something I needed to do.
I come from a family with several ties to writing, books, and education. My dad was a newspaper reporter and news editor for our hometown newspaper. My mom taught in a rural one-room school house in her teens; later she worked as a librarian for over 25 years. I have one sister who is a librarian, and another who teaches school. In the spring of 2016, my daughter started working part-time at our local library system.
As for me, while working on my journalism degree at the University of Missouri, I worked at the University Bookstore, starting out in the textbook department. During graduate school I worked at Missouri Book Services, a college textbook wholesaler. In 1985 while I worked there, MBS was purchased by Barnes & Noble (and B&N CEO Len Riggio) and renamed Missouri Textbook Exchange.
During grad school, I also worked as a teaching assistant for the marketing department. Brad Pitt was one of my students. The department chairman asked if I would be interested in writing a new guide for the independent study course for Principles of Marketing. I agreed, and was published for the first time.
After grad school, I spent most of the next twenty years working in data analysis. Although I didn’t do much writing during that time, I did a lot of reading. Fiction, biography, sports, history – I had interests in a lot of areas. I also had an active imagination – I would make up little stories or scenes to occupy my mind while exercising or doing yard work.
I came up with what I thought would be a great idea for a series of books. Once I began writing though, I starting have many other book ideas. When I decided to take a break from re-writing that first book, I had several ideas to choose from in developing my second novel. That book turned out to be #MoMoLives, which was selected for the agent round in the 2016 Sun Versus Snow contest.
Although I took the long way to becoming a writer, I think I wound up where I was meant to be.
Here is the link to my 2016 Pitch Wars post
Here is a link to an article about the true story my 2016 #PitchWars entry was based on
For anyone who might be interested, here is a link to my 2015 #PitchWars bio
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