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.