So today I give you Way Back Wednesday.
The first time in my life that I thought I'd want to be a writer was in high school. I took a journalism class and joined the newspaper staff. I worked on the newspaper staff my junior and senior year first as a reporter and later as a news editor.
I'd wanted to work on the school paper since 5th grade when I started reading Sweet Valley Twins. In 5th grade my friends and I tried to start a newspaper for our elementary school. It was cute.
I loved writing for the paper, doing layouts, thinking of story ideas and interviewing people.
I also learned about the financial end of writing. Students were asked to sell ads in addition to writing. Ads paid, in part, for our paper.
One of the first things we did in journalism class was learn about freedom of speech and how important it was to defend it. This is why you will still find me defending freedom of speech and books and the right for people to read and have access to books and information.
The newspaper also taught me a lot about writing. Newspaper articles are typically short and they need to catch the reader's attention. They need quotes (dialog), description, a hook, a catchy title.
When I started writing with the hopes of getting published I gravitated towards picture books and stories for kids.
What are some of your earliest writings?