Every writer I’ve ever met was a reader first and that’s how I came to writing. My mom read to us as long as I can remember, only stopping when we got so we couldn’t wait for her to finish and would grab the book to work through ourselves. I remember her reading us “Down the Long Hills” by Louis L’Amour and needing to know how these two children stranded alone in the wilderness survived. I had to ask for help with the occasional word but I powered through. It was well worth the effort and L’Amour became a favorite of mine.
On the mystery side, I started out with Encyclopedia Brown, progressed to Brains Benton and the Hardy Boys, and then made a strange leap to John D. McDonald. I’m sure going from Frank and Joe Hardy to Travis McGee did something to my psyche, but hey, there was sex and violence and what kid doesn’t like that.
My tastes stayed in genre fiction until I started writing and became part of the Saskatchewan writing community. I started reading literary fiction and even managed a few (extremely bad) poems in a creative writing class. I was writing science fiction short stories and mainstream small town Saskatchewan stories at the same time. The small town stories gradually took over and became my linked short story collection Princes in Waiting, which won the Saskatchewan Book Award for Fiction.
Now I’ve got a bunch of different irons in the fire and I’ll be publishing stories on-line as they’re ready to go. There’ll be no real pattern, no career path. I’ve got a small town mystery novel I’m working on with a retired cop/writer friend of mine, short stories of various types, though leaning toward science fiction, and Princes in Waiting will be getting a new life as an e-book.
As for the non-writing life, I’ve had the usual unusual bunch of jobs you see in every writer’s bio. Now I live in Saskatoon, trying to convince my cat that my laptop computer has a higher priority on my lap than he does. Someday I might even win the argument.