I’ve been asked this question many times since the publication of Star Runners.
Writing can be agonizing, terrifying, humbling and infuriating. It is also rewarding beyond imagination, exciting, thrilling and fulfilling. Most of the time, it is all of these things wrapped into one.
The simple and often repeated answer to this question is, “I write because I have to write.”
This is true for me, I suppose, but I wanted to explore this deep-seeded need to write. Why do I do this? Why do I spend hours in a room by myself? Why do I daydream constantly about characters?
I think I have an answer—two answers, actually.
My first answer is the library. Thanks to my mother, I spent a great deal of my childhood in the local library. To be specific, I lived in Fairport, New York. The library in the center of Fairport was where I began my love affair with books. I could check out any book and bring it home. Within minutes, I would be transported to another world. I was hooked. I wanted more.
Even today, I still cannot pass a library anywhere without feeling a desire to stop. I feel the same about used bookstores. I feel the same about any bookstores.
The second answer has to do with my father. Both of my parents would say goodnight to me when I was young. In early grade school, I was getting ready for bed and reading a book (imagine that). My father came to the door to tell me to turn the lights out. We started talking. Somehow we got on the subject of what I wanted to do. Dad told me I could do anything I wanted to do.
“I want to fly,” I said without hesitating.
My father looked down. I can imagine he must have wondered how he would answer this question. Without hesitation, he looked back at me.
“We’ll have to start working on that,” he said, his voice reassuring.
This is why I write. In stories we can fly. We can be anything.
I love to read. I love creating stories.
And, of course, I still want to fly.