Tag Archive for: Influencers

Clicking Our Heels: Who Influenced Us to Become Writers

Clicking Our Heels: People Who Influenced Us
to Become Writers

Writers often say they write because they
must and observe that writing is a solitary activity, but we wondered if
somewhere along the line, who, if any person, played a large role in the
various Stiletto Gang members becoming writers.

Sparkle Abbey:

Mary Lee Woods: My mother was my
greatest influence in my becoming a writer. She read often and widely and
instilled a love of reading in me. When I picture her, from when I was small until
just before her death at 92, she was often curled up with a book. And most
likely a mystery. She was an Agatha Christie fan, but also loved many
contemporary mystery authors and always looked forward to a new book from Dick
Francis. One of my favorite childhood memories is our weekly trips to the
public library to browse the stacks and to pick up books for the week. It was
there that I discovered Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, and ultimately Mary Stewart
and Phyllis Whitney. The love of a good story eventually led me to the desire
to try my had at writing.

Anita Carter: Probably my husband. He
pushed me and encouraged me to do it. He’s my biggest cheerleader.

Kay Kendall: I cannot point to one
person who influenced me to become a writer—of fiction, that is. I can tell you
who I should’ve paid attention to much sooner, and that is my own mother.
Because she said writing was my gift, she kept wanting me to study journalism
in college. I wouldn’t listen to her, and probably her pushing kept me away
from that major. But I wanted to learn so much in the liberal arts curriculum,
so I don’t regret doing that, but I do regret coming so late to a fiction
writing career. The book world was so much healthier earlier.

Juliana Aragon Fatula: Mrs. Durbin my
junior high English teacher. I learned from her because I

respected her. She
gave me the gift of loving reading.

J.M. Phillippe: Mrs. Smisko, my fifth
and sixth grade teacher, who used to always nominate me for writing rewards. I
had vague ideas of wanting to be a writer before tha, but my time with her
really cemented the idea in my head.

Linda Rodriguez: Probably Charles
Dickens. I read A Tale of Two Cities
when I was eight years old and fell in love with the way a writer could bring a
whole world to life. I knew I wanted to do that myself.

Dru Ann Love: As I’m not a writer, my mother
showed me the love of reading.

A.B. Plum: Miss Adah E. Peckenpaugh, my
high school English teacher for four years. She taught me grammar and vocabulary
and instilled the idea that I could write well – including everything from
essays, to short stories, and personal letters. 
Remember those?

T.K. Thorne: Definitely my Granny. She
read to me as a child, introducing me to the wonder of words and stories.

Shari Randall: So many teachers have
been wonderfully supportive of my writing, but there was a moment when I was
working at my hometown newspaper that really turned a lightbulb on for me and
made me think of myself as a writer. I started out as the newsroom assistant,
typing articles for some of the reporters (yes, it was eons ago) and writing
wedding announcements (“Grace Episcopal was the setting for the afternoon
wedding of …” you get the drift). A few weeks after I started, the owner of the
paper needed someone to write a feature about modern weddings for an
advertising supplement. After my story ran, several of those hardboiled
reporters came over, shook my hand, and said it was the best thing that had
ever run in the paper. I remember being stunned. These guys lived to bust each
others’ chops and they’d busted mine plenty, so their words struck a chord.

Bethany Maines: My college roommate and
long-time friend (and fellow Stiletto Blogger) J.M. Phillippe really inspired
me to actually turn my hobby into a serious passion. She walked me through the idea
of writing long form and has constantly helped me improve skills. Her impact on
my writing cannot be overestimated.

Judy Penz Sheluk: My husband, Mike. He
bought me a creative writing course for my birthday about 15 years ago and
said, “It’s time for you to follow your dream.” He’s still my first beta
reader, and biggest believer.

Debra H. Goldstein: My father taught me
to love words and the beauty of expression.