I don’t remember learning how to read. Reading has always been a part of my life, and it didn’t take long for my love of reading to translate into a love of writing. I remember being just a kid, probably in kindergarten or first grade, and curling up at the fireplace in our old house in Houston with a notepad and a No. 2 pencil.
The first stories I wrote came from the magical world of my favorite television show, My Little Pony. Yes. I’ll admit it. That was my favorite show growing up. That and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Go figure.
I remember wondering what would happen if My Little Pony had the same kind of action that Star Trek had in it, and I thought even then it would be a good idea, because as much as I loved My Little Pony, it had some boring moments where I really wished something exciting would happen. And that’s why I started writing. Because nobody else seemed to be able to write a story that would unfold the way I wanted it to.
That little hand-bound notebook of lame little-girl fanfiction sparked something inside me, and I haven’t stopped writing yet. I finished my first novel when I was 11, another glorified fanfiction but at least it had a three-act structure. And, yes, I still have it, scribbled in a one-subject notebook with a mechanical pencil.
Then, something amazing happened. My family convinced me to put my stories on the computer. I taught myself how to type. And that’s when I really got serious about writing.
I wrote my first 150,000 word novel when I was 13. By 22, I’d finished upward of 20 novels, averaging 50,000 words each. Ten years later, I’ve completed 39 novels, including urban fantasy, science fiction, and mainstream. I didn’t stop with just novel writing, though. I had multiple opportunities to branch out into script writing for my church. I’ve written multiple series of skits, which were performed live and broadcast on television.
Three published skits, two published short stories, a handful of awards, and a successful copywriting career later, and a “for-real” publisher still hasn’t picked me up. And that’s probably because I’m just too Scottish (read that: extremely stubborn). I could have backed down and written a “saleable” novel, but I never wanted to write for the industry. I wanted to write stories that I would read, and I was thrilled to discover that I wasn’t alone in what I liked.
I am fortunate to have so many friends who have invested in me and my writing over the years, people who believed in me especially when I didn’t believe in myself. And I’m extraordinarily blessed to be in a critique group with three of them.
I live in a 100-year-old farmhouse out in the middle of the Kansas prairie, surrounded by wheat, alfalfa, and opossums. I have a roomie, my best buddy and fellow Crosshair staffer Katie Morford, who is up next week to share her story.
Lord willing, in June, my parents will be returning to the farm for their retirement after seven years in the big city, where we will likely go back to gardening and raising chickens.
I’m a cat person, although I’m looking forward to getting a dog soon. I’m also a geek of the unashamed variety. I make Doctor Who references in nearly every conversation, and if you don’t get them, I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry. But I can shut my inner geek off and have real conversations with people who don’t enjoy that sort of thing. (Just beware: I’m waiting for the opportune moment to convert you.)
So that’s a brief introduction to me: Crosshair Press founder, geek, the most extroverted introvert you’ll ever meet, Kansas farm girl, and performance-driven perfectionist, all rolled in to a wordsmith who really just wants God to get all the glory.
Next week, you’ll get to meet the other half of my brain: Katie Morford.