Well, I guess it’s my turn, huh? For me, reading has always been a huge part of my life. From the time I was really little, I can remember having favorite stories that I wanted to hear again and again.
I had the privilege of being homeschooled all the way through high school. One of our traditions was that every morning before school, mom would read a few chapters to my sister and me. It was my favorite part of the day. She read us a lot of the classics—Dickens, Emily Dickenson, the Brontes, Jane Austen, Aesop’s Fables, Marguerite Henry and Shakespeare, to name a few.
From there, I started branching out and reading on my own. I read almost constantly, and often left several different books scattered strategically throughout the house so I always had a story handy.
I fell in love with mythology and fantasy, reading stories of the ancient Greeks and King Arthur. I read C.S. Lewis, and then moved on to read Tolkien’s The Hobbit, the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Silmarillion (yes, I read it. I’m one of those people). And then, my dad introduced me to the world of science fiction and Star Wars. From there, my fascination with science fiction has only grown.
In a way, reading even helped fuel my interest in video games. When I was eight, my parents promised to buy my sister and me an original Nintendo set if we were each able to read 100 books over the summer and give a short report over each and every book. Needless to say, we made the goal, and I’ve been gaming ever since.
I think that out of the four of us, I was the last to start writing my own stories. It was actually Katie Morford and my sister that got me started writing when I was in high school.
My first stories were really just fan fiction, set in the Star Wars universe that I enjoyed so much, and usually co-authored with Katie. Once I finally moved on from writing about commandos in the Clone Wars, Katie and I started writing our current book. (Clone commandos to a Turkish hit squad—the transition made sense at the time!)
Really, if it hadn’t been for my family and friends, I would have never started writing in the first place. It was only with the encouragement of these amazing people that I started recording my stories. But now that I’ve started, I can’t imagine ever wanting to stop.
How have you seen books influence your life? What interests have developed because of your favorite stories? Let me know in the comments section!