I’ve always wanted to be a writer, because I’ve always loved stories. That’s hyperbole. I haven’t always wanted to be a writer. It’s something that developed because I love stories. I suppose I haven’t always loved stories either, but I can’t remember a time that I haven’t loved them. Still, my love of stories grew over time.
The very first story that I remember loving was Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves as told to me by my father. He did great sound effects for the cave opening and closing after the secret words were spoken.
And I remember having picture books being read to me, and later reading them myself. There was Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman, Please Try to Remember the First of Octember! by Dr. Seuss, The Bear Scouts and The Spooky Old Tree by Stan and Jan Berenstain, and far too many others to mention. Later on there were more advanced books. Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol and The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald were two of my favorite series.
But one of the major story influences for me when I was little was Robotech. Yes, I know, it’s not a book. Not at first anyway. It’s a kid’s television show. Worse than that, it’s a cartoon. But the continued saga of the Robotech story really drew me in. I have always been a nighthawk who doesn’t like to go to bed at night and doesn’t like to wake up in the morning, but when Robotech started airing at 6:30 in the morning before school. I actually got up to watch it.
Robotech can seem a bit disjointed because it was spliced together from three different shows, and some people hate that aspect of it. For me, the three different eras of Robotech following a single overarching story was always one of the best things about it.
I remember telling my sister on a car ride to visit my grandparents that Robotech was a real story because things didn’t always work out in the end, and sometimes people died. My sister’s response to this is another story completely, but suffice it to say, even then, Robotech was changing the way I thought about stories.
One of the first times I walked into a bookstore, it was the display of Robotech books at the front of the store that drew me in. At the time, reading books seemed a little silly to me, but if it were Robotech, then maybe it would be worth it. While I expect I would have turned to reading, and eventually writing anyway, for me, Robotech was that first foot in the door to reading great stories.