I have done numerous interviews throughout the years for various blogs and radio programs-and any more you would like to direct my way will be appreciated-and I admit to having to answer many similar questions. Not often do bloggers or hosts come up with a new or unique question. This is not a criticism of them because I appreciate whatever publicity they will do for me. My challenge has been to come up with a different way to answer those same questions or a different way to explain those same answers. Usually, I do it with humor. Throw in a funny line-or what I hope to be a funny line-and go from there. A joke, then get around to actually answering the question.
One of those questions is:
When did you start writing?
My answer is: when I was a child. I enjoyed reading and would buy up books any chance I had. I collected books. Mystery books. Horror books. Some sci-fi. One of my first collections was The Hardy Boys. I was after each in the series. I even have some of the original brown hard cover volumes. Sometimes you can find them in antique stores. I tried a Nancy Drew, but it wasn’t the same. I mean, the main character is a girl, right? How exciting can that be? Lol. Before you women start with the nasty replies, I’m joking. Okay, but truth be told, I didn’t think they were as fun to read as Joe and Frank…who, throughout their entire series of books, even when they teamed with Nancy, never grew older than 17 and 16. I’ve often wondered if anybody has done a study to see just how many real life years their books would cover. I’m 52 and-another confession here-I still enjoy them. I’m missing a few here and there, but some of those Hardy mysteries are still in my to read list.
I also collected the entire series of Alfred Hitchcock and the Three investigators. I thought those were awesome books. I was disappointed when I realized the series didn’t last too long.
As for other young adult series, I read a few, but didn’t get too interested in collecting them. I was into mysteries. I would check out the school library’s collection of Encyclopedia Brown books. Okay, they were simple and cheesy, but I enjoyed the mystery in each short story and the challenge to find the clue to solve the mystery before the solution was revealed at the end.
As time passed, I progressed to more adult oriented stuff. Ellery Queen I really loved. Ditto Erle Stanley Gardner and Rex Stout. Ed McBain, John MacDonald, John Lutz, and so many more I’ll be here all day thinking of them. I tried to collect as many of my favorite authors as I could.
My standards on the quality of the books has dropped. Not in the story itself, but in the appearance. When I went into a bookstore, I wanted the most pristine copy of a book I could find. It couldn’t have any spine defects or creases. When I read a book, I would NEVER crack the spine and I still adhere to that latter policy today. I realized, though, that some of the older pulp fiction books and others were so difficult to find, I’d never find a clean copy. So, while I still look for good copies, if they have a crease here and there or have been cracked or used…well, I’ll reluctantly get them because I don’t want to wait for another opportunity. Plus, usually I’m buying bargain bin, yard sale, flea market stuff and when you get 12 books for a buck…
Next week, I’ll get around answering the question and not sound like a politician rambling on saying a lot but nothing substantial.