How I became a writer, and some of the books that led me here.

Image by Lubos Houska from Pixabay

I’ve always been a writer, although I didn’t understand that until late in my life. I wish I had realised earlier, but I didn’t. Nothing I can do about the past, but I can make up some of the time now.

I’ve always loved stories from being tiny. I can still remember my favourite story. It was about two little pandas called Pink and Ponk. I can still quote the first few lines, but I do remember the story quite clearly.

Later, when I could read myself, I devoured Enid Blyton books. Early on it was Noddy and The Faraway Tree. Later I loved Shadow the Sheepdog. I remember that the first ever story I wrote was about a dog, inspired by this story. I was only young–probably about seven or thereabouts – because my spelling was a bit dodgy.  I spelled ‘of’ as ‘ov’ , all the way through.

I also really enjoyed her Famous Five books, and the Adventure series. And although I read a couple, I was never really enthusiastic about Mallory Towers books.

Another book I loved reading was Black Beauty, about the life of a horse. It told of his life from his early days with his mother, through different owners, some good, some bad, to his retirement. 

When I graduated from the children’s section of the library, I discovered Jeffrey Farnol and Mary Webb. Later, I read many Agatha Christie books, and other books in that genre, and I loved Georgette Heyer and other historical novelists.

Of course, there were the classics. I always loved the Brontë sisters’ books, especially Wuthering Heights. 

I remember making a little fairy out of grass and telling my younger sister stories about him/her. 

At school, I loved it when we were given a title, or first line to write about. I can’t remember any of the stories I wrote then, but in my teens I wrote a very bad romance that I read to my friends. They said they liked it, but I suspect they were just being kind.

At Teacher Training college, I began my poetry writing. I had my first ever publication in the Manchester University Institute of Science and Technology magazine. The poetry era ended until I was teaching in 1990 when I wrote a poem for the staff Christmas party. I had to write one every year, by popular demand, after that. Sadly these have all been lost except the one in the UMIST magazine.

I loved reading Science Fiction, too and read all the well-known writers.

Then I found Fantasy. A young boy, by the wonderful name of Fred Spittal, asked me if I’d read The Lord of the Rings. He was reading it, but said I should start with The Hobbit. I found it in the college library and from then was hooked on fantasy.

I won’t go into all the fantasy books I’ve read. It would take too long.

Since writing Book 1 of my Wolves of Vimar series, I have published almost a dozen books. I have also drifted into historical fiction and begun writing poetry again. My first published poetry book is called Miscellaneous Thoughts.

So you see, I have always been a writer, but didn’t know.

Do you remember books that influenced you as a child? Tell us about them in the comments section.


14 thoughts on “How I became a writer, and some of the books that led me here.”

  1. You’ve mentioned so many of my favourite childhood books, Viv. As a young teen, my English teacher introduced me to Stephen King by sneaking me her copy of IT, and I’ve never looked back 💕🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So fun to read your “how you became a writer” though some beloved books. I could totally relate to Wuthering Heights and The Hobbit. Phew. Amazing reads. For me, Charlotte’s Web also had a huge impact. I think that book also led me to a career in grief counseling! Lol. Great post, Viv.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Like you Enid Blyton but also Paddington, Biggles, graphic novels of Tintin and Asterik, Just William. I remember enjoying writing unlike massively put off by my English teacher taking the mickey out of a story when I was about 14. I only did O level English because I was so turned against it and while I loved reading I wrote nary another word creatively until my last 40s. That said being a corporate lawyer writing complex contracts taught me many writing skills, though my stories lacked suspense and tended to put the reader to sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I could never understand the down on Enid Blyton (except in later years the perceived racism that was not considered racism in those days). She wrote exciting stories that children enjoyed and it got many a one to fall in love with reading and to move on to other books.
      How dreadful of that teacher! When I taught I would never take the Mickey out of anyone’s work.
      I didn’t read Biggles, but my male childhood friend did. That was a boy thing, I think.
      When doing my teacher training, I opted for English Lit as a subsidiary (main science) because of my love for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

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