There’s a meme going around Facebook called “Seven Facts About Me As A Writer (that you may or may not know).” I think this should be Six True Facts and One Lie, but that’s not the game, so these are all true.
1. I wrote my first story when I was three years old. Yes, I was already writing before most kids had started reading. I wrote a story about a magic wishing well in about four sentences for my grandfather, which means I’ve always written genre.
2. I wrote so much by hand over the years that the middle finger of my right hand is permanently disfigured — the pressure from the pen damaged the nail matrix and I have a permanent “pen pad” where the pen used to rest. That nail has always been weak and prone to breaking. It also grows in at a weird angle. I also have not written very much by hand over the last 10 years, so this damage is from a long time ago.
3. I have had more than one person theorize that I’m a writer because I’m Irish. (And I am Irish. My Irish-American dad married a woman from Ireland, and his Irish-American dad married a woman from Ireland, and… For years I thought I had to marry someone from Ireland.) So here it is, my short shameful confession: I hate James Joyce. At least I did last time I read him. I also have never felt the need to read Frank McCourt. I have read one Maeve Binchy novel, but did not feel compelled to read more.
4. I read my first romance novel-qua-romance novel in 1999, on the recommendation of Lucy Huntzinger. I had read romance before that, but usually there was some other genre more important to me in the book: mystery, paranormal, science fiction… I got very into Regency romances for about five or six years (I probably read a couple hundred books), but then I completely lost interest. I haven’t read one in a year or two at least. Despite the reading, I have never written romance.
5. Which explains why I was baffled when I got into screenwriting and it seemed like every woman I met was writing a rom-com. It never occurred to me to write a rom-com (and still hasn’t). When I write something, someone is probably going to die within the first few pages. I have no idea why this is — I had a pretty good childhood.
6. The first script I ever wrote was a spec script for The X-Files…during its first season. That one’s been lost to history. Probably for the best…but now we’ll never know.
7. I honestly believe this is the best time in history to be a writer. Most of us have access to tools that allow us to write and self-publishing has opened the doors to all kinds of storytelling. We’re getting stories we didn’t even know we wanted. Living in the future is awesome.