Monday, September 25, 2017

Celebrating 7 Years of GReads with Trish Doller

All month long I'm celebrating my 7th year of book blogging with the help of my bookish friends. To learn more about the event, please visit my introduction post I've linked just below. There, you can also enter to win a book by one of the fabulous authors who will be joining me this month to celebrate, as well.

I could not celebrate 7 years of book blogging without including one of my most favorite people: Trish Doller. I first "met" Trish as her debut novel SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL was coming out into the world in 2012. I knew immediately this woman's work was something to keep on my radar. Through the years Trish and I have become good friends, and it's all thanks to books. We've shared a lot of conversations about what we're reading, what we're listening to, and what we're feeling. She is someone I am so grateful to this community for. If it weren't for our mutual friend Carla in the UK, I'm not sure if our paths would have crossed. I will always be a champion of her words, always. Please welcome Trish Doller to the blog...

When people ask me how long I’ve been writing, I usually tell them that I started as soon as I learned how. My mother still has one of my kindergarten stories—written on primary handwriting paper with a thick blue pencil—about a leprechaun in search of gold. But I’ve been a reader just as long as I’ve been a writer. Longer, if you ask my mother, who claims I learned to read when I was three years old.

One of my earliest memories is an evening when she was reading to me before bed. We were working our way through an old chapter book called “B is for Betsy” and I adored it. After my mother finished that night’s chapter, I begged her to read just a little bit more. She said, “If you want to read more, you’re going to have to read it yourself.” So I did.

That book was the key that unlocked a hunger for reading. I finished the rest of the Betsy series. I revisited the Little Golden books that my mother had read to me. I went to the library once a week and I’d spend the next seven days rounding up wild ponies on Chincoteague Island. Crossing the prairie in a covered wagon. Traveling down the Mississippi with a turtle named Minn. Getting lost in the Alaskan tundra. Falling in love with a boy named Johnny Tremaine.

These stories grew inside me, inspiring me to put my own words on paper. My first attempts were basically fanfiction, trying to insert myself as the main character of my favorite stories, but my hand usually got tired of copying whole pages. As I got older, I wrote short story romances, usually spending more time on character creation and world-building than actual writing. Older still, I tried my hand at historical romance, but by then I had children and barely had time to write, let alone finish anything.

It wasn’t until I took a job as a bookseller that it all came back. I was walking past the YA section and the cover of Maureen Johnson’s “13 Little Blue Envelopes” caught my eye. I read it in one sitting and as I turned the last page, I thought maybe I could write a book like that. I thought that the ideas living in my head might finally find a home in YA. So I started writing again.

It’s been ten years since I completed my first manuscript (which didn’t get published, by the way) but I wouldn’t be here now, if I hadn’t first fallen in love with reading. Thanks, Mom.

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