Before I was published I was just trying to get published. I wasn’t as industrious as Susan. Oh my. Articles? Let me think…
1. My only article: I wrote an article for the local health food store newsletter about trying to expand my family’s palate. I had a three year old at the time and he’s now eighteen so that tells you how long ago it wrote it. One of the members (who is a travel writer) told me it was “cute” which totally pissed me off because he said it in such a condescending way. I didn’t do another article for them.
2. My attempt at early chapter books: My love for Arnold Lobel and his Frog and Toad and Owl books is well known. My other favorites are Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik. I tried for about six months and never got the hang of it. BUT I hadn’t yet taken a class.
3. My attempt at picture books: I wrote poetry and mistakenly thought I could simply divide the poem even over the pages and call it good. Done. Well, of course that was wrong. I never took a class, I did read a picture book how-to book, but the genre never really called to me. I do still love to write poems when I need to.
4. My first novel: When I began to write YA I knew it was a done deal. No question it was what I should be writing. My first novel was a romance-mystery-time-travel- coming-of-age thing, but I loved it and the characters and I never wanted it to end—and actually didn’t know how to end it. I think it ended when my computer finally crashed… But I found my voice.
5. My attempt at Hallmark writing: When I was a kid I made cards for everyone. It was what we did in my family. If you didn’t give a homemade card for the occasion you didn’t really care. I hoped this would somehow translate to a lucrative career in the gift card business. I kept index cards with clever (or not so clever) sayings for every occasion, but I never found out if this biz was for me because (YAY!) Buried was sold to Dutton.