First off, let’s post a Warbreaker Chapter: Chapter Forty-Three
And now, another one for the FAQ:
Q: You might get this a lot, but why did you become a writer in the first place? Did you ever see yourself doing something else instead?
A: Good question. I should definitely have this on one the FAQ.
My story starts back when I was in grade school. In third and fourth grade, I was a big time reader. My favorite series was the “Three Investigators” books, a kind of Hardy Boys style mystery series. I hadn’t had much exposure to fantasy, and the young adult genre/middle grade genres hadn’t been split off into their own sections back then.
Well, as I grew older, people tried to give me other books to read. Most of these were realistic fiction–the types of books that bored me out of my skull. My reading habits dribbled off, and I landed in junior high as an average student pulling Bs and Cs.
Then I had a wonderful English teacher–Ms. Reeder, ironically–who told me I couldn’t keep doing book reports on novels that were four grades below my reading level. Instead, she gave me her copy of DRAGONSBANE, by Barbara Hambly. That was the beginning of the end for me! I was amazed by the book–I hadn’t realized that there were things like that out there. The book engaged my imagination to an extent none ever had. I read through every book in the Library that had “Dragon” in the title, then quickly move on to the bookstore, buying whatever fantasy I could get my hands on. I still remember when both DRAGONBONE CHAIR (by Tad Williams) and EYE OF THE WORLD (by Robert Jordan) came out in paperback–both books quickly hooked me as a reader, and those two became my favorite authors. (And, interestingly, my grades at this point shot up to be straight As, and stayed there all through high school.)
My mother thought that being a writer for a living, however, was too difficult a task. She convinced me that becoming something more legitimate–like a chemist–would be a better path. (She always maintained that I could write on the side. She wasn’t discouraging, just realistic.) So, I went to college as a bio-chemistry major.
I did okay in my chemistry classes–not excellent, but not poorly. Solid “B” student. At that point, I served a 2-year mission for the LDS church in Korea. During that time, I really didn’t miss chemistry. (In fact, a big piece of me was very excited to be on a completely different continent from chemistry. . .) However, I DID miss writing. Spent my day off doing it, working on what eventually became my first writer.
So, when I got back, I bit the bullet and admitted that I was really a writer at heart. I determined to become a professional author, and changed my major to English.