Saturday, October 18, 2008

Inspired to write --

For all you writers out there -- what was your inspiration? Who or what got you interested in becoming a writer? I'm always impressed when I hear people talking about this. Some give credit to a teacher they had. Some say a famous writer inspired them. Some people were born to be writers. Others were inspired by someone or something. What was yours?

See this little mountain goat picture? That was my inspiration. I didn't spend all my life dreaming about being an author. The idea hit me one day out of the blue. We were camping in Glacier National Park here in Montana. The big thing at Glacier are the mountain goats. People come from all over the world to see them. Mountain goats aren't commonly seen and only live in certain parts of North America. The babies are adorable.

While driving home, a story came to me and I wrote it down. I researched the writing process. I did everything wrong. I submitted to a lot of publishers. Looking back, I submitted before it was ready. These are common mistakes. My first story was called Manny the Mountain Goat. It has since been revised from the original. It has also been separated into two stories, fiction and nonfiction. The fiction one is titled Manny's Big Adventure. I am thinking of doing some revisions on the nonfiction one. That particular one is photo-illustrated and I've heard those are hard to sell because they cost more to print. You would think it would be the opposite because they don't have to pay an illustrator, but I guess that isn't the case.

But in all honesty, I can say it was a little white mountain goat that inspired me to write. Manny won't be my first book published, but it will always be special because it's the one that got me interested in writing. I don't want to give up on Manny. I plan to revise both stories until someone thinks they are worthy of being published. It's like your first love -- even if it didn't work out, you don't want to let go. It's kind of funny. I was inspired to write by a mountain goat named Manny. My first published book is about a little rat named Dilly. I live in one very strange world!


  1. Manny's a cute goat!
    I always loved poetry, I'd read Shel Silverstein's poems over and over as a child. But the impetus to actually start writing more as a hobby then try and get published was a Jane Yolen book of poetry with beautiful photograpsh by her son. (I hope to publish a book of poetry with photos by my dad).

  2. Thanks Kelly! We just got home from a day in Glacier NP and we saw some goats, but they were way up on the cliffside. Still cool to see, but it's more fun when they're standing right in front of you.

    Good luck with your poems and I hope you can publish your book someday. I got a rejection on my MG novel today, so that was a real drag. I've only sent 2 copies of it out so far, so now I'm waiting on the other that has a full.

  3. My mum loves to write, shes done a few novels, but no luck in publishing anything big.

    I probably got the interest off her, did a few short stories, submitted to local competitions etc. Got a 3rd place in one as a teen, HC on a poem.... I always had the best English essays at school, one got "published" in the school mag at teh end of the year. Have not done anthing since really, maybe I should get back to it.

    I do remember in Primary, a writer came to do a workshop, I did a good story on Dinny the Bottle Nose Dolphin and Giddy the Naughty Goanna, but she took them and I can't remember them anymore...

  4. I started writing when I was 8 and my mother was my first big supporter and inspiration.

    PS: I've nominated you for the "I Love Your Blog" award.

  5. When I was in the 8th grade, I use to make up my book reports instead of actually reading any books...(from plot, characters, author, etc.)I didn't think my teacher knew, because I was getting good grades on the book reports, then at the end of the year, she had me stay after class and she handed me all of my reports (she'd made copies) and she told me I should be a writer...I took the reports, tossed them in the trash down the hall, and thought, "Yeah, right lady, like I have time for that"

    Many Many moons later, I caught myself making up stories for my son to entertain him and one day I thought..."Hey, I should be putting these on paper." and the rest is still a struggling history...grin...

    Love Manny...they are wonderful creatures...

  6. Brenda -- That's really funny how you'd make up your own book reports. I'm surprised your teacher never caught on, but that's still really cool.

    Bish -- Thanks for the nomination. I think it's cool how your mother inspired you to write. It was because of my mom I became a fan of Elvis. Funny how we get different kinds of interests and inspirations from people.

    Dee -- You should definitely get back into writing. It sounds like you have a talent for it. When I was little, I was more into drawing. I could doodle and sketch for hours. I liked to write too, but mostly got into letter writing rather than anything else.

  7. Manny is so cute! I think the photo illustration thing is if they need to get the rights for the pictures. If you supply the pictures, I would think it would be similar to regular illustrations. They probably say not to do that to discourage regular people taking pictures and thinking they can use them to illustrate their book, but your pictures are professional quality, so it should be ok. (Of course this is my opinion, from what I remember - you might have to look for more current info, or include a couple of photos and a note with your story to see what they think. Non-fiction uses a lot of photos.)

    I was inspired to create children's books when I saw a film in grade school that showed the PB process. I don't know who the illustrator was or if they were the author too, but I remember the pictures, and I still have the poem and illustration I made after seeing the movie. :)

  8. Stephanie -- That's great you were inspired to write so early. Like I said in my blog, I loved to draw and did that all the time. I sometimes wonder if I should have pursued that more. My girls can draw really well and so can Nathan, who's 8 years old.

    I don't want to give up on Manny yet. The last editor that saw the photo-illustrated version said they don't publish books with talking animals. Manny sort of narrates the book, trying to get kids to relate themselves to him (in things like jumping, snacking, walking, getting dirty, etc). So in that sense, he does talk. The other 2 editors that have seen the book both said they loved the pictures. I've thought about revising it so he's not narrating the story. I guess I'd have to give up on him having a name too, which would be sad. The fiction version is a lot different, which is the original story of Manny.

    Me & my goats -- LOL!

  9. Keep going with Manny if you love him :)

    I was mostly inspired to illustrate after seeing the movie (I think it was mostly about the illustrations, or at least that's what I remember). I never really thought I was a writer, because everyone always encouraged my art. I started writing PBs because I wanted ti illustrate them, but when I took writing kids books classes, several people suggested that my voice was older. I loved reading MG and YA novels, so this made sense to me.

    Anyway, I always wanted to illustrate. I didn't think I could write until much later!