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The book that made you want to become a writer...

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Emily of New Moon and its two sequels by LM Montgomery
#31 - February 15, 2008, 07:36 AM


Make Way For Ducklings
A Wrinkle in Time
Little Annie Bigfoot (My mom and dad wrote it and it never climbed out of the slush.  But as a kid I used to love it when they pulled out those magical typewritten pages, the notice of copyright(they'd actually paid to have it registered) and read it to me while I illustrated it.)
#32 - February 15, 2008, 07:50 AM

I've wanted to be a writer since forever.  I also can't pinpoint exactly when.  I mean, I remember voicing I wanted to be an "author" when I grew up when I was about nine, but I remember writing stories in class that teachers read aloud (one in fourth grade and one in fifth grade) that got great reactions from my classmates (I particularly remember the one in the fourth grade because it was about an obnoxious balloon and had a great opening line).  I remember Narnia and A Wrinkle in Time blowing my mind.  I am an artist, too, so I was always writing and illustrating books.  My twin sister, too.  We threw away a tome we wrote at 11 or so where we had the Trixie Belden people meet the Nancy Drew people with Alec Ramsay from the Black Stallion Series and then we started crossing timelines and genres and had Phillipa Pearce characters hanging out with E. Nesbit people and even Pern's Menolly.  I am not kidding. Sometimes I am sorry that we threw it out.  Other times I am sure it was horrific.  we drew a lot of comics too, and I still have some where the Star Trek and Star Wars people meet.  Heh heh.  My sis is always mortified when I confess to how nerdy we are.

As for Carolyn Keene...she IS real...she's just many, many people. Some of whom probably post on this board.... >cough, cough<.
#33 - February 15, 2008, 07:51 AM
The Arts-Angels, Track 1: DRAWN TO YOU
2012 from Brushstroke Books


Actually, there's a great book on the history of the Nancy Drew series:

"The Hidden Staircase" was the first chapterbook I ever read.  But reading about the women who wrote Nancy Drew makes me want to write rip-roaring adventure novels. =) 

#34 - February 15, 2008, 08:06 AM

Firegirl by Tony Abbott is the book that made me want to write for kids. I realized that the simple stories need to be told.

But, I always thought I'd be a romance novelist until then.
#35 - February 15, 2008, 09:26 AM
Stephanie J. Blake
MY ROTTEN FRIEND (Albert Whitman, September 1, 2015)
THE MARBLE QUEEN (Two Lions, December 1, 2012)

Stone Writer

Good topic. In fourth grade we had a career day where we dressed up like the profession we wanted to be. While my classmates were dressed as baseball players, doctors, and one unfortunate girl, a supermarket clerk, I wore normal clothes and brought in a book. People thought I was a librarian. I told them I wanted to be an author.

The first book I can remember loving was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when I was probably in 2nd grade. Before that I'd read The Hardy Boys and some Laura Ingells Wilder, but when I discovered Dahl things changed for me as I learned not every book had to be nice and warm and inviting. In fourth grade I was tired of scary books that didn't scare me and I read (with my mother's permission and to the horror (pun intended) of my teacher) Stephen King's Pet Sematary. From there I was off and running.
#36 - February 15, 2008, 10:37 AM
« Last Edit: February 15, 2008, 10:39 AM by Stone Writer »

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#37 - February 15, 2008, 01:08 PM
ROLLER BOY (Fitzroy Books, 2018)
AMY'S CHOICE (Luminis Books, 2014)
CALL ME AMY (Luminis Books, 2013)
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because of the world they transported me to, and because I wanted to be just like Emily and Anne. Thank God they both had such realistic writing careers. They faced repeated rejections and both worked super hard for their writing successes. I think if they'd just "made it," I might have expected the same, but I never have had that expectation. I love Montgomery for instilling that motivation and work ethic in me in terms of my writing.

because it reached me in a way that no other book ever had. It was just so REAL. Margaret's voice was like "every girl." I didn't know books could do that..y'know...have characters who lived in the "real world" and had "real" problems.

I think Judy Blume's current counterpart for realistic portrayal is Sara Zarr.
#38 - February 15, 2008, 02:52 PM

I've always loved reading.
I never wanted to become a writer. It never crossed my mind. Writers and authors are those creative people. Certainly not me. Or so I thought.
My story is unusual. I didn't even realize I was writing a novel until I had 45,000 words in my computer.
Then I realized I loved  :love writing and revising as much as I love books and stories.

So perhaps my first manuscript is what made me want to become a writer. Or did it make me a writer?
#39 - February 15, 2008, 03:16 PM
Sarah Blake Johnson, MFA
Crossings (2017, Cedar Fort)


Ditto on the L.M. Mongomery!  The Emily of New Moon series especially--I want to be Emily!
#40 - February 15, 2008, 04:17 PM


Oh oh oh!  I have to copy and add Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret to my list.  I wanted to be Judy Blume before I wanted to be Katherine Paterson.

One great moment in my life: I got to meet Judy Blume at a reception for my editor.  We discussed, well, we discussed how much I worship her... and lip balm.  Also, I showed her where to get the best cupcakes.  She was gracious and adorable.  I tried not to drool.
#41 - February 15, 2008, 04:38 PM


I got PAID to hear Madeleine L'Engle read and sign my copy of A Wrinkle in Time!  (I was babysitting.  My Boss couldn't take his daughter to see her, so he had ME take her! The best part is, the girl I was babysitting was a young scifi/ fantasy fan-- we loved all the same books, so it wasn't "work" at all! =)  )
#42 - February 15, 2008, 07:41 PM

Catherine M

I always wanted to be a writer, probably a direct result of my overactive imagination. I wasn't a picky reader as a kid, but I always loved fairy tales the best. That probably explains why I'm such a Gail Carson Levine fan.
#43 - February 17, 2008, 11:13 AM


I don't think I can identify a book or books that made me want to be a writer, but 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson was the book that made me want to become a published author.
#44 - February 17, 2008, 12:08 PM

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This is going to age me -- but I have to say the Henry Huggins books by Beverly Cleary. I read them when they first came out and was hooked. (Ramona was a pest then but didn't really get her own books until I was older!)
#45 - February 17, 2008, 02:07 PM


I don't know exactly when it happened.  I've been writing since I'm about 12yrs old.  I'll be 50 in may.  I've just decided to try to get them published within
the last few years.
#46 - February 29, 2008, 05:42 AM

After my daughter was born,  I started thinking about all the books that I wanted to share with her when she could read. Some of the ones that stood out most vividly in my memory were books by a British author named Ruth M. Arthur. She wrote about a dozen books in the 70's and sadly they're now all out of print (although I was able to get all of them on ebay or alibris). Her stories were always supernatural, usually set on the coast of Devon or Cornwall, and usually involved a girl coming to a place for the summer and discovering something magical from the past. When I started writing fiction, I realized I was trying to recreate what I had found in those books as a 10 or 11 year old. Rereading them as an adult, I realized she wasn't the greatest writer in the world, but it didn't was the stories. After Candlemas, A Candle in Her Window, Requiem for a Princess, The Whistling Boy, The Saracen Lamp...anyone else read her?
#47 - February 29, 2008, 07:06 AM
Migration Nation (Charlesbridge, 2015)
101 Places You Gotta See Before You're 12!
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Mermaids by Patty Dann
#48 - March 03, 2008, 09:28 PM


A Wrinkle in Time, Carol Ryrie Brink's 'Baby Island,' The Borrowers series, The Secret Garden, and The Witch of Blackbird Pond, among others. It struck me that a lot of writers got to have adventurous lives so they would have plenty to write about -- I wanted to do that even more than I wanted to be a writer.
#49 - March 04, 2008, 07:17 AM


I really enjoyed reading everyone's posts.  I always had my nose in a book when I was a kid, that is when I wasn't dancing.  Sydney Taylor's All of a Kind Family series had a big infuence on me.  I have all my original copies sitting on the bookshelf next to me.  Judy Blume was my other author idol who made me want to write.  It's not the End of The World and Are You There God It's Me Margaret were my two favorites and then of course reading Forever with my friends in eighth grade had a lasting impact and made for some great memories. 

Yes, I too wanted to be Judy Blume.   I would love to meet her someday.  :star2

Some other favorites were The Secret Garden, A Wrinkle in Time, Stuart Little and Charlottes Web.  :books
#50 - March 04, 2008, 08:56 AM


I don't know if there was one book that had an influence on me like that...but as a kid, I loved the classics you guys listed on here (L'Engle, Tolkein, Lewis, etc). I also loved Where the Red Fern Grows, Bridge to Terabithia, Beverly Cleary books, the Flowers in the Attic series, Nancy Drew series, etc.

It wasn't just one book, but I think a lifetime of reading excellent material that made me want to throw my hat in the ring and give it a whirl!
#51 - March 04, 2008, 09:05 AM


I loved V. C. Andrews' Flowers in the Attic series.  How could I forget those.   I remember really liking those cool cutout covers too.   :)
#52 - March 04, 2008, 09:17 AM

I think I started writing almost as soon as I started reading, but the book(s) that really made me want to get serious about it was The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams.  I knew then that it was okay to be silly.
#53 - March 20, 2008, 12:48 AM

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I fell in love with The Great Brain books when I was in grade 2 or 3 (I had to sneak them from my brother because I wasn't old enough to take out chapter/MG books from the school library yet). I remember being in awe of how anyone could know how to write stories like that!

Gordon Korman was also a big inspiration. I read every GK book I could find as a kid, his books were all I ever ordered from scholastic at school, and I got to meet him at a young writer's conference in grade 6, which was amazing. And he published This Can't Be Happening At McDonald Hall when he was 12, or something crazy!!!

I think I started writing almost as soon as I started reading, but the book(s) that really made me want to get serious about it was The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams.  I knew then that it was okay to be silly.

I read this when I was in grade 9, I think. And I wholeheartedly agree! My writing can be a little outrageously silly at times, and this book was probably a big influence. (I was born silly, but you are right Lunchbox, I felt this made it okay, and spurred me on to be even sillier!)  :tease
#54 - March 20, 2008, 05:31 AM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken


There are many, many books that inspired me as a young reader....but honestly, the one that made me think "I want to try this" as an adult was Gossip Girl. Before I rediscovered YA, I happened to pick one up and thought "I want to write a book that reflects MY teenage experience"--which was a far cry from the Upper East Side life.
#55 - March 20, 2008, 06:24 AM

I can really relate to missrodeo.  I was a voracious reader growing up, but never had an interest in writing.  It wasn't until I had my first child that I caught the writing bug.  The book that clinched it for me:  Judy Moody by Megan MacDonald
#56 - March 21, 2008, 09:20 AM

Troubles at home kept me in my room, rather than with family. In that room was a white haired old man with a sweeping mustache. In drawling tones, he told me stories of a boy who ran from what family he had. This boy, though he was like an angel on earth, had self doubts to the point where he thought himself to be the very devil. Huck and I rafted the Mississippi together for the first time when I was about ten.

After that, I devoured all the stories that old man had to tell me. I bathed in Mark Twain's observations and wisdom. I knew that someday, I wanted to be able to share my soul with the world in the same way that he had. He offered me a hand back into the world at a time when I could have grown into a recluse.

Great! Now you made me go and get all misty! (I promised myself I wouldn't cry!)
#57 - March 21, 2008, 09:27 AM
Bazooka Joe says, I have the ability to become outstanding in literature.


All I wanted to do as a kid was make movies. Then write movies. I was captivated as a teen by stories like   Usual Suspects and Seven.  Then I married and had babies, rediscovered my emotional soft side. (I'm one of those that cries during previews, opening credits  . . . oh, and game shows.) Falling back in love with love stories. Turning thirty made me nostalgic, I skipped my high school reunion because I hated high school and fiction is better than reality because you can give people what they want.

What was the question?  Oh yeah, Half blood prince made me want to write about teens. For even with the distraction of fighting dark wizards and saving all of mankind, what makes her characters real was that she allowed them to love and yearn and be angsty. I so wanted a piece of that.

Monica   :dance

#58 - March 21, 2008, 09:49 AM


I have always, always, ALWAYS written. Seriously, as cliche as it is for me to say that, it's true. That's the one thing I've always been praised for by my teachers: my writing skills.

Of course, I do think this came about because I consumed about 6 books a week regularly from when I was five to when I was thirteen. Yeah, I was pretty much a bookworm. I read during recess. Now that I've gotten older (ha ha, 16), I find I spend most of my time writing rather than reading, and since I read much more complex and longer books, I don't have the time to go through half a dozen in a week. I'm lucky now if I get through one every two weeks. I know, shame on me.

Gosh, I'm ranting now. No, the books that made me want to be a writer are probably the Harry Potter series. I started reading it when I was in fourth grade and I just couldn't believe how many people were reading them, especially the kids in my class that I knew didn't read. From that point on, I knew I wanted to make that kind of an impact on kids. And the rest is history!
#59 - March 22, 2008, 05:42 PM

Every book I ever read from when I started with Noddy, my mom's old Enid Blyton books, C.S. Lewis ... the list is huge. I sat down and worked on my writing every time I finished a book and longed to be able to create that kind magic.

Roald Dahl's "Boy" finally gave me the push to work hard and aim at publication - also, "Get off your but's and DO IT" was pretty motivational, but in a different way.
#60 - March 23, 2008, 08:11 AM
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