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Friday, May 7, 2010

Guest Post by Author James Boyle of Ni'il, The Awakening

On Becoming a Writer


Another question I'm often asked is when/how did I decide to become a writer. Believe it, or not, the clouds didn't part one day and a brilliant beam of light pinion me to a spring meadow. There was no epiphany. But it's all I've really wanted to do since high school anyway.

To begin with, I've always been a voracious reader. I was blessed to be the oldest child of two parents who would rather read than watch television, or go to the movies. Reading has always been an important part of my life. And when I say reading, I mean broad-based reading: mysteries, crime, historical fiction, horror, classic literature, westerns, I read it all. I even tried to read a Harlequin Romance once, but couldn't do it.

I was voracious. And I didn't just read and enjoy the story. I imagined stories like the ones I'd just read,

Somewhere around sixth grade, I read Treasure Island and was so enamored of the romance of the pirate I had to read every pirate novel I could get my hands on. There were probably three. The scarcity of pirate novels was terribly frustrating. I still remember thinking to myself that I'd just have to write my own. I couldn't do it, of course, but that's the first time I remember thinking it.

In high school, I became a reporter for the student newspaper and was good at it. I became the editor, then the editor of the yearbook. I began to try my hand at fiction, but never actually finished a story until I was eighteen.

I went to college, as a journalism major, but quickly discovered that I didn't really want to be another Woodward or Bernstein so much as a Kurt Vonnegut. So I switched majors to English, began to seriously study the craft of fiction, and the rest is history.

After thirty plus years of practice and study, I'm beginning to figure out what I'm doing.

I still haven't written that pirate novel.

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