By Tosca Lee
Earlier today I peeked at a list of questions sent to me ahead of an upcoming interview. One of them was this:
What got you into writing?
I’ve shared the story of how my dad made a deal with me to write my first novel during a summer in college. But I’d already been writing (not novels, but short stories and poems inspired by Shel Silverstein and illustrated by my friends) and even been published in a local newsletter (when newsletter were printed and delivered to real mailboxes) and had won some awards. I hadn’t thought of pursuing it as a career til that summer in 1989, but I’d actually been writing for a long time.
So what really got me into writing?
Teachers, telling me to write about my beloved bulldog for a local pet-lovers’ newsletter. Teachers, encouraging me (okay, probably everyone, but I thought she was talking to me) to enter the Nebraska Young Authors competition. And the teacher who undertook a short story writing independent study with me in high school and said maybe we should look for some contests to enter.
Thank you, teachers, for the way you encourage. Thank you, Mrs. Bush, Pat Kaltenberger, Anne Cognard, Craig Davis, and Daniel Mueller.
What teachers were integral to you in your career—before you even knew you’d pursue it?