When you hit the core of it all, I became a writer at thirteen because I was pretty much sick of the real world all around me. I suppose we’re all like that, but I was tired of conforming to things I didn’t agree with. (I still am, so apparently that doesn’t go away with age.)
My inspiration was also the one I butted heads with most when I was a teenager. Her name is Mary and she’s a woman who’s beyond strong, has a backbone like steel that no vampire, or any other supernatural creature could bend, and she has the most overpowering sense of loyalty for her family.
Mary is my Mom. She’s the woman whose life revolved around her husband, her two kids, and her job as a career librarian. I’m telling you, this woman has a card catalogue for a brain. In fact, I still tease her to this day about why she hasn’t tried to get on Jeopardy - we could be billionaires by now. I always wonder if Google and Wikipedia used her brain to fill in all their ‘blanks.’
When we were growing up she made sure that my sister and I knew that television, video games, phones - all of that stuff - was absolute nonsense and that books were the only way to go. Of course, being a teen, I so wanted the T.V. (until I figured out that there was nothing on and I actually DID have more fun reading books).
We came from a small town, although my Mom would’ve loved to be in charge of research at the New York Public Library. Instead she was in charge of our hometown library and everyone loved her. She could recommend any title to anyone and know they would like it; and she read everything just to make sure if someone had a question, she could answer it correctly.
I remember when a book called Forever came out by Judy Blume and it had to be put in the adult section because it was supposedly too risqué for teens. Believe me, when you look at YA nowadays, Forever was absolutely tame. But Mom wanted me to read it, and I did. We’ve graduated over the years and we are now reviewers; she’s also a huge and supportive part of the company, The Write Companion, which we opened to help debut authors get the shots they just weren’t getting.
From Judy Blume to Stephen King and his frightening Overlook Hotel; from the puzzles of The DaVinci Code to the flashing wand of a boy named Harry Potter who actually took over the globe; and, from vamps to witches to zombies to things that go bump in the night, I have enjoyed it all. I am so unbelievably lucky (which I realize more and more every day) that I had an inspiration in my life who knew the power and magic of words. She’s the reason I read, she’s the reason I write, and she’s the reason I teach the same to my own daughter who constantly has her face buried in a book.