Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June Theme: Wanting to be a writer

by
Stephanie J. Blake


I've always known that I'd be a writer.

THE END.




Just kidding.

Creative Writing came to me naturally when I was in junior high. I wrote a ton of poetry. Most of it was angst-filled and heart-wrenching about my first high school love. I never showed my writing to anyone.

I took a playwriting class my 2nd year of college, and got serious about submitting my poetry to magazines and literary journals. Had a few publications. I got my BA degree in English. My minor was Technical Writing. I come from a long line of teachers and educators.

My father said, "What on earth will you do with an English degree if you aren't going to teach?"

I got a job in telecom. For seven (boring) years, I wrote employee handbooks, policies & procedure manuals, training materials. I drafted proposals and benefits summaries.

It wasn't until I was a stay-home mom of three, in 2005, that I started writing stories for kids. I was inspired by something one of my babies said.

"Mama, if I were a baby kangaroo, I could ride around in your pocket all day."

I wrote a picture book about baby animals. It came very close to being accepted at a small publisher.

I started writing lots of (mostly bad) picture book manuscripts. I wrote a novel. Then, I wrote another one. And another. Finally, I sold THE MARBLE QUEEN.

"Hey Dad, that's what I'm doing with an English degree (and $30,000 in student loans)."

THE END.

Just kidding.

I just sold my first picture book. It's also inspired by my children who are obsessed with zombies.

MY ROTTEN FRIEND will be out next year with Albert Whitman.

7 comments:

  1. Love this post Stephanie...NOT kidding! Congratulations on the PB.

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  2. So excited to meet your rotten friend! Glad you dumped the boring writing job. xo

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  3. I feel like those opening lines are my story, too, Steph. ;) I can't wait to hear more about MY ROTTEN FRIEND.

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  4. This cracked me up! I CANNOT wait to read My Rotten Friend! I'm so addicted to zombies and I'm usually a big chicken butt!

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  5. Thanks for sharing....looking forward to the book. Sounds like a fun one!

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  6. I love this! Congratulations on the PB -- you always inspire.

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  7. Great post, Stephanie! I felt honest-to-goodness anxiety when I read the part about you doing all that technical writing!

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