In 2000, I was an engineering student at ASU, and my good friend, Christy Williams, asked me if I was interested in writing. She’d received The Weekend Novelist (a how-to book about completing a novel in one year) for her birthday and wanted a writing companion.
I enjoyed writing since elementary school—publishing poems in class-produced newspapers—but felt I wasn’t very good; English was my worst subject. I was more of a reader. Fictional book characters were my best friends—especially through the lonely years of junior high. I was a regular at the school library and could pinpoint, wearing a blindfold, where Sweet Valley High, The Forbidden Game, or the classics sat on the shelves. I volunteered at the public library during my summers.
So when Christy asked me to delve into novelist territory, I eagerly agreed, hoping to create worlds where shy teenagers could escape and find fictional friends whom they could trust. We began studying the exercises in the how-to book, meeting at least once a month and trading ideas. Though my first novel was not the “next great American novel”, it sparked a passion within me that I didn’t know was there. I wrote all the time, even during classes (which sets a bad example for you students, so ignore this part!).
I believe that this gift was God-given, to balance my technical studies with something creative. It’s something that I thank him for every night that I write.
Why did you start writing?