I get asked a lot by family and friends: What inspired you to write?
I wish I had a real sexy answer like, "It came to me in a dream." or maybe "I always knew I wanted to write novels." Sadly, neither was the case.
It was the combination of two events. Event one: I used to work with a lawyer who I had a great deal of respect for. We were working together one afternoon when he set a pile of papers on the table in front of him that I had written. He looked me square in the eye and said, “Mrs. Straight, you are one of the most compelling writers I’ve ever met.” Keep in mind, what he had just read was work-related and a FULL TEN on the boring scale. His compliment was unexpected and flattering, so I filed it away.
The second event was when I finished reading Stephanie Meyers’ Twilight Series. She was able to elicit every major emotion I had felt in my life, in just four books. When I put Breaking Dawn down, I was wholeheartedly inspired and I began writing.
Now that you know how I got my start, let me tell you about what inspires me every day.
Readers and bloggers who go out of their way to tell me they’ve read my novels and loved them. A post on my facebook page, a message through goodreads, a comment on my blog or a tweet takes maybe thirty seconds worth of effort but gives me hours (sometimes days) of inspiration.
I want to tell you about my very first fan because no matter how many times we chat, I’ll never let him forget how much he means to me.
Shortly after I published my first book, Meeting Destiny, I joined goodreads. I think I had sold maybe twenty-five books over a six month period. I was still very new to the site and I was surprised when a friend request came in from Charles Young. This was followed by a message saying he had read Meeting Destiny and loved it.
Charles was my very first fan and I still message him regularly. If any of you have ever sent a message like the one I received from Charles to a “Rookie” author, I can guarantee you will never comprehend the lifelong impact your simple act of kindness has made (or will make) in that author’s life!
When a story moves you, let the author know. Since that day, I’ve met many readers who have gone out of their way to brighten my day – every single message has been an inspiration and is the reason I write for hours after my family has gone to bed.
Charles, if you’re reading this blog post, thank you, again.