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

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pschmatz

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My favorite story about To Kill A Mockingbird is from a friend of mine who read it to her 9-year-old son.  When they finished the last page and she closed the book, he was quiet for a long time.  Then he said, "Read it again."
#91 - May 08, 2008, 08:52 AM

cyn2write

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I know one of the first "big books" I tried to write was when I was 9, and it was a CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE, so I guess one of those must have made me want to write.  But I know I was writing way before then, so, hmmm CHARLOTTE'S WEB?  I dunno, I am obviously ancient and experiencing severe memory loss.

Do I get points for knowing that the book that made me decide I will always be a hack, no matter how hard I try, was TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD? 
#92 - May 08, 2008, 09:56 AM

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I'm dusting off this thread because it's a cool topic...

I've always loved books and I always wrote but my writing was usually a personal pursuit like journaling. My public and professional persona were tied with my artwork. It wasn't until adulthood that I even thought about writing "seriously" and the first books that nudged me in that direction were BIRD BY BIRD by Anne LaMott and BOY by Roald Dahl.
#93 - September 09, 2008, 09:26 PM
Forthcoming books:
HONU AND MOA (fall 2018), author/illustrator
THANKU picture book anthology (fall 2019), contributor

chan

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To be in awe of those who could write amazing sentences and beautiful stories?  Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron

To write myself? A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
#94 - September 10, 2008, 06:31 PM

Traci Dee

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The first book that inspired me to write my own stories was Neverending Story by Michael Ende. 

But the book that made me want to be a writer was It by Stephen King.  I cried after I finished it because I hadn't wanted it to end, hadn't wanted to leave that world, and I thought how cool would it be to make someone feel that way after reading something I'd written?
#95 - September 10, 2008, 06:38 PM

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I'm glad you dusted this off, ecm--it's a fun thread. Like others, it might have been a combination of teachers, authors, and books for me. In 4th grade, my teacher read us the Little House books. Family lore says that I'd said I'd wanted to be an "arthur" since I was tiny, but 4th grade is the first time I remember consciously trying to be one (although I wasn't at all aware that I was imitating Laura Ingalls Wilder in my weepy epic of frontier life, "A Thanksgiving Turkey").
#96 - September 10, 2008, 07:08 PM

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I have always loved reading, especially mysteries where girls solved the problems.  I loved Trixie Beldon and Nancy Drew, but I read everything I could that had girls and women solving mysteries - uh, I still do....

I think i always wanted to write a great mystery story, and I have some starts and stops stored here and there...

But it was really a story I wrote for my seventh grade teacher that made me want to write.  It was an assignment where we had to pick one sentence starter from our English book and write a story (yes I still have that story - it is a hoot to read!)  Mine was one of the stories she picked to have read out loud to the class :yay.  While we didn't really get a grade the fact that I was one of two people picked to read their story out loud was quite an honor and from that moment on, I knew someday I was going to write a book. 

Still working on finishing that book, but someday I will get it finished. 

So in this intance it is one of those cases where you have to thank a teacher.

Liz :stuck
#97 - September 10, 2008, 08:48 PM
You must do the things you think you cannot do.  Eleanor Roosevelt

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Sudo Nimm

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The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry.
#98 - September 13, 2008, 10:14 PM

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For me it was Emily of New Moon. I grew up with her, and she's like my literary sister. I identified with her strongly when I was a teen, and I still do, to an extent. :-)
#99 - September 13, 2008, 10:46 PM

Tessadragon

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the books that inspired me most are:
Tamora Pierce's Immortals quartet and Circle of Magic quartet
Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

The very first book i remember making me feel that i wanted to write was a short story in a book, i think it was called Lamb to the Slaughter. It was about a woman whose husband seemed to love his prize-winning rabbits more than her, and  her jealousy. Our English teacher read out the first half of the story to us and then she told us to write the end. I wrote mine, took it to her, she read it then read it out to the class, and no one looked at me the same ever again  :drinking
#100 - October 01, 2008, 12:27 PM

TrishD

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When I was a kid, I would "edit" my favorite books, either to include myself in the story or to make them better (or at least what I thought was better). But the book that was the catalyst for My Way or the Highway was Maureen Johnson's 13 Little Blue Envelopes. When I finished it, I decided that was the kind of book I wanted to write. So I did. :)
#101 - October 01, 2008, 08:31 PM

Legacy by Susan Kay. It's a Tudor historical, but I picked it up in our bathroom at home in Seventh Grade and literally could not put it down. It's a long, meaty, satisfying epic that followes Elizabeth Tudor from birth to death. Twisted, witty, clever-- it still awes me today with the perfect language and metaphors. It's out of print now, sadly-- which is a shame, since Kay took 20 years writing such a deeply addictive, psychological novel, and I think it would bust Phillippa Gregory's sales record.

Anyway, that's what made me want to be a writer. I wished I could spellbind someone the way that book did to me. It's even the reason I majored in history! I'd only heard about Elizabeth I before that... but I really felt like I knew this gloriously fascinating, brilliant, slightly twisted person after reading that book.
#102 - October 11, 2008, 09:10 PM
S.J. Kincaid, INSIGNIA
(July 10, 2012, Katherine Tegen Books)
http://www.sjkincaid.com

ndrushing

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The Trouble with Miss Switch

It made me want to eat cinnamon toast and be a scientist for the summer.
#103 - October 13, 2008, 08:18 PM

carlind

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Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson-- I think I read it for the first time in fifth grade.

I had the honor of spending a day with her a couple of years ago, and she is the loveliest, most down-to-earth, interesting person.
#104 - October 14, 2008, 06:30 AM

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What a cool thread!

I didn't know I wanted to be a writer until I was in university. I was focussed on becoming an actress before that, although I was always reading and writing. I didn't even know that "writer" was something a girl could aspire to.

But the first time I had an urge to be a writer was when I was 11 and performed in A Midsummer Night's Dream at camp. I wanted to use words as imaginatively as Shakespeare. I had no idea how presumptuous that idea was.
#105 - October 05, 2010, 10:34 PM
ANTIQUE PIANO & OTHER SOUR NOTES
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MaryWitzl

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I don't think it was one book for me, but I do remember reading books at a very early age and being certain that I would write them some day myself.  And I suppose at least that part is true... I definitely write them...

I was entertained by dozens of books, but the ones that really captured my imagination and got me thinking about the books I just knew I would produce some day were Charlotte's Web, Baby Island, Robinson Crusoe, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Treasure Island (clearly I had a thing about islands), A Wrinkle in Time, and The Witch of Blackbird Pond.
#106 - October 06, 2010, 01:46 AM

Raynbow

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Okay, I might live to regret admitting this, but here goes. So, as an adult I thought about becoming a writer and I had just finished Harry Potter. I thought, no, there is no way I could ever write like that. Then I read an article about a very popular book in Entertainment Weekly. The author had three young boys (just like me) and had written her book in three months. I went out and bought Twilight. I read it and thought, I can do that. So, I started writing and wrote my first manuscript in three months. I aimed for 100K words, because her book was 130K, but I only got it up to 87K. (I am so laughing as I type this). So, yes, Stephenie Meyer is the reason I started writing :)
#107 - October 06, 2010, 04:19 AM

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You won't regret it....lol. Same here. I remember reading Harry Potter the First when my almost 11 year old daughter was an infant. I devoured them each time a new one came out. I wound up separating from my husband a few years later, moving back to my hometown, struggling to find employment...it was harsh times. I'd often thought, "I'd love to write a book," like so many people do, but I thought it was for "other people"--I had toddlers to chase. I don't know why the mind works that way, but it can and often does. And then, sometime in 2006, I finally peeked in on some of the background talk over JK. I heard she was a struggling welfare mom when she wrote the first book, putting the baby in a stroller so she could go to the coffee shop and scribble on napkins and scraps of paper, keeping them in a shoebox.....that's when it all clicked. That's when I understood it was possible for any old schlub. I finally started and finished my first novel in February of 2008 (I'd attempted NaNo in 06' and 07'), and I'm on my sixth manuscript. I've fought like a mad dog to learn the ropes (I'm a former trailer court kid with a 9th grade education. Relearning grammar and punctuation? It almost killed me.) and I haven't quit, even when I thought there was no hope I'd ever catch on. Even though the first few books I wrote were terrible. But then the next one wasn't painful to read, and the next one was better yet....

I'm a lesson in tenacity, I think  :dr

ETA: Interestingly enough, that struggle to find employment ended with a job at Barnes & Noble. It's all been a process--every step, day, and word.
#108 - October 06, 2010, 04:33 AM
« Last Edit: October 06, 2010, 06:42 AM by Aimee Walker »
"The mind is everything. What you think, you become." ~Buddha   

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Raynbow

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with a 9th grade education. Relearning grammar and punctuation? It almost killed me.)

Totally off topic here, but Aimee, having read your work, I would never ever ever have known this. You are a lesson in perseverance and I admire you.
#109 - October 06, 2010, 04:45 AM

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Aww...thank you so much, Raynbow. That made my day  :redflower
#110 - October 06, 2010, 04:48 AM
"The mind is everything. What you think, you become." ~Buddha   

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RJ_Anderson

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The Chronicles of Narnia -- all of them -- and The Lord of the Rings.
#111 - October 06, 2010, 06:06 AM

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Okay, I might live to regret admitting this, but here goes. So, as an adult I thought about becoming a writer and I had just finished Harry Potter. I thought, no, there is no way I could ever write like that. Then I read an article about a very popular book in Entertainment Weekly. The author had three young boys (just like me) and had written her book in three months. I went out and bought Twilight. I read it and thought, I can do that. So, I started writing and wrote my first manuscript in three months. I aimed for 100K words, because her book was 130K, but I only got it up to 87K. (I am so laughing as I type this). So, yes, Stephenie Meyer is the reason I started writing :)

Raynbow  - everything you've said is ME word-for-word. Back in 2005 after I'd had my first child, I bought myself the first four Harry Potter books and devoured them. I was so in love, it sparked something in me and I realised I wanted to write again (something I hadn't done since I was a teen). So I sat down and started. Then, like you, I heard some background story about Stephenie Meyer and was intrigued, so I picked up Twilight and thought (exactly like you!): 'I can do that'.

And now, with every fabulous YA book I read, it spurs me on even more. For instance, I LOVE Melina Marchetta books. She makes me want to just keep trying and learning and get better with every new thing I write.

#112 - October 06, 2010, 06:17 AM
http://sarahepsteinbooks.com/
https://twitter.com/SarahLEpstein

"Act as if it were impossible to fail." - Ashanti Proverb

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The book that made me want to be a published YA author was Sarah Dessen's THAT SUMMER.
#113 - October 06, 2010, 06:33 AM
BLACKOUT -- available now
DESERTED -- available now
SISTERS DON'T TELL -- available now
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Fun thread! Glad this got bumped.

Mine was THE LITTLE PRINCESS, but Frances Hodgson Burnett. I think I was about 7 when I read it. After reading it for about the third or fourth time, I set myself up on my parents' typewriter (yes, this was before everyone had computers!), and began typing in a story about a girl and her friends and enemies at a girls' school (I was clearly very original). Boy, do I wish I had a copy of that to laugh over now.
#114 - October 06, 2010, 07:08 AM

Christopher Pike's The Last Vampire series. I started writing my first vampire novel when I was in the tenth grade!  :dr
#115 - October 06, 2010, 09:24 AM
ALTERED (YA) Little, Brown Fall 2012
BOT WARS (MG) Dial Summer 2013
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RevellWriting

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Harry Potter.
#116 - October 30, 2010, 06:40 AM

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ah....so many of them.....Owl Moon, A Wrinkle in Time, A Little Princess, Cold Sassy Tree, Walden
#117 - October 30, 2010, 10:17 AM

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