Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What inspires me to write?

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.

Happy Reading!


  1. I imagine it is the same feeling I get when I get a letter or thank you for one of my students. It is only my 2nd year teaching, so I only just received my first (well actually 4) letter this year. One though stood out from the rest because she is a single parent like me, but she lost her mother a while ago. She was so introverted, and she thought she wasn't smart enough to make anything of herself. As a math teacher, I have to find a way to connect and prove to them that they can do it but it won't always be easy and it takes hard work. I kept telling her everyday she could do it until she started believing me and seeing for herself (this was last year). She graduated this year and gave me a letter telling me thank you and that because of me she knows she can accomplish anything. She made me cry, but it was a good cry. After graduation, I went up to her to tell her how proud of her I was and of course already had tears in my eyes, and she told me don't cry. I said too late and hugged her in a big ole bear hug. That moment is my reason for teaching to make a difference, and you never forget your first moment like that. I'm sooo sappy that I'm crying just remembering it. I'm not sure why I felt compelled to share, but there you have it :)

    btw I can't wait until your book that I won from Blood Debt Book Tour gets here, so I can read it this summer :)

    Authors rock :)

    1. Hi Cassandra, I'm sure it's the same feeling! Teachers are one of the few professions who know they're making a difference. My editor has been a HS English teacher for 30+ years, she's also my aunt. Her students message me every once in a while, current and former; I am always in awe of how much of an impact she's made in their lives. Thanks so much for sharing your story!

      As for the paperbacks, they are scheduled to be delivered to me TODAY!!! It's been a long time coming! I'll be mailing them out on Friday, finally.

      Teachers rock!!