I wrote my first story somewhere between the ages of three to five. Well, I didn’t actually do the writing because I couldn’t write yet. I dictated the story to my father who wrote it down and read it back to me. It was a great story. It must have been-I can still remember how my father laughed when he read it.
He kept it too. After he died in 2002, my stepmother found it in the cedar chest where my parents kept important papers. What was it about? Oh, it was a story about Woody Woodpecker. Where did I get the idea? From a storybook my mother bought for me. I liked the little book so much I decided to write my own story using the same characters.
I didn’t do any more creative writing for many years. I did a lot of reading, though. My mother loved to read, so she took my sister and me to the public library every week. I can also remember saving my weekly allowance to buy special books that I wanted for myself.
So, how did I become a writer? My son inspired me. He came to see me one day and told me he had written a book that he wanted me to read. Naturally, as a mother I was totally thrilled to have such an exceptional son. “How did you know you could write a book?” I asked.
I’ll never forget his reply. “I make up stories in my head to amuse myself when I get bored, so I thought I’d write them down.” Wow! I did that too.
Armed with the encouragement of my friends and family, I set out to write the next Gone With The Wind. Yeah, right. Nobody liked my first book. The heroine was wimpy, the hero handicapped.
Undeterred, I tried again. This time I decided to TAKE STEPS. I submitted my second novel to a small publisher who sponsored a contest for romance novels. Publication of your book was first prize. To my great and utter astonishment, I won, and my first novel, A New Leaf, was released by Oak Tree Books in 2004.
Since that time I’ve become addicted to writing. I do it all the time. I even took my computer with me on vacation. If I can’t write I get antsy. I’ve been known to get up in the middle of the night to write down ideas or super great sentences. (Some of ‘em didn’t look too good the next day.) I become totally absorbed in my character’s lives and hate like crazy to let them go when their story is finished. It gives me great satisfaction to create a world and move the characters where I want them to go. So, what’s the cure for this addiction? I don’t know, and I don’t care. I like it.
Where has my addiction taken me? I have four books that have already been released, two books coming out in October and November of this year, and I’ve sighed one contract for a 2009 release. And I’m still writing. I’m waiting right now to hear from two publishers to whom I’ve submitted manuscripts.
I hate to miss a chance to plug my new books, so let me say that The Sentence will be out in October of this year. It’ll be available at http://www.bygracepublishing.com. The Best Selling Toy Of The Season will be out in November and will be available at http://www.midnightshowcase.com.
If you’d like to read an excerpt from the books, you can find them at http://www.elainecantrell.com
Thanks, Marianne, for having me.
Thanks for reading!
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