35-Day Author Blog Challenge 2015 · Fairy Tales · In Real Life

Day 2: Once Upon a Story

2210699732_4e4aa56193_zMy roots as a writer can be traced to fairy tales. In fact, in our stack of books we had this very volume. I loved them all and pored over the illustrations.

I was an only child for six years, so I had imaginary friends. My Barbies never stayed inside. They climbed trees with me or lived in forts, reenacting dramatic scenes. Later I graduated to “producing” skits and recording comic “radio dramas” with my friends. What fun we had with a cassette recorder and that sound effects LP!

My very first “book” was a fan fiction story, but it’s wasn’t Austen. It was an illustrated edition of The Little Mermaid, complete with a Much Better Ending. (I’d read only the traditional version, in which the despairing Mermaid cast herself into the sea and was rescued by angels.) Even as an eight-year-old, I was firmly attached to Happily Ever After. No way was the prince marrying the other princess!

fairy-tales-cs-lewisIn my teens and beyond, I devoured Victorian novels culled from the library and from my grandmother’s bookshelf. Gothics came next, and then Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and the Regency. I later came to love the British “Queens of Crime” (Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Agatha Christie) and Inkling pals C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

And yet it never occurred to me that I could become a writer myself. It took a friend, Susan Kaye, to prod me to try my hand at writing. In the early days of the Internet we wrote and posted serialized Jane Austen stories. Never did we think that we would one day publish, or that Austen-based novels would become as popular as they are today.

Writing went on to become more than a hobby. Other interests–cross stitch, gardening, even choral singing–have had their day and faded. But not books. Best of all, I get to write the kind of stories I enjoy. And I’ve found that others like them too.

See you tomorrow! If you want to see what the other participants are blogging about, you can find their blogs here.

Photo Credit: Golden Book of Fairy Tales taken by Karen (Creative Commons Flickr)

7 thoughts on “Day 2: Once Upon a Story

    1. Thanks for un-Lurking here, Vivian. It’s lovely to see you. The book is almost there, just a few more pages and tweaks. I smile to think that those who are following the 35-Day Author Blog Challenge will have a front row seat!

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  1. Great, now it’s out that I may have had something to do with letting this particular genie out of the bottle. If your career ever takes a nose-dive, not my doing.

    By-the-bye, I started out my love of words with a nose in the two-volume dictionary we had. So, words, no stories. Oh well, onward to day 35.

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    1. I thought I’d be an illustrator rather than a writer, since my grandmother was an artist. (Many cousins trained as graphic designers.) Here I am, creating the insides of a book instead of the cover!

      When I was casting about for career ideas, my dad told me I should be a writer. I was dumbfounded and instantly dismissed his suggestion. I should have known better. He read science fiction books by the stack. He saw talent long before I knew it was there.

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  2. We trod similar paths, though my Barbies rarely were allowed out of doors. I was too OCD to chance them becoming soiled. In fact, they were never left unclothed, and I never took their hair out of their original rubber bands (unlike my sister Layne who actually cut the hair on her baby dolls. Outrageous!) I grew up reading the books my older siblings had been assigned to read. Gayle’s were dog-eared, but Layne’s were like new. Hmmm…. I also read my mother’s gothic novels by Victoria Holt, Georgette Heyer, and the Brontes, and I loved Daphne du Maurier and Austen.

    I was such a little nerd. I was so bad at sports, I had no other choice.

    Glad to know we have so much in common.

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  3. I gave some of my baby dolls tattoos–in the 1960s, before it was even a thing! –thinking the ink would wash off. My mom was horrified.

    Those are some familiar names you mention: Victoria Hold and du Maurier! And in the years leading up to them, Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Nancy Drew books and countless grade-school level mysteries.

    Bad at sports AND at the piano. I am an ultra book nerd!

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