I can say with total honesty that I have been writing stories since I learned to read and write. I have a scrapbook containing pages of practice-pad paper on which I scrawled with crayons stories, plays, and the illustrations to match. Not all of my stories made it to paper. Some I merely acted out while running wild on my parents’ farm, accompanied by my co-writer/supporting actress, a Yorkie terrier named Esmerelda. Whether they actually made it to paper or not, I was always writing stories.
Strangely enough, however, I was fourteen before I realized that God wanted me to be a writer.
I was standing in a convenient store staring at a rack of greeting cards when one of them – a painting of a Friesian horse galloping through the fog – sparked a story idea. As the day progressed and I went about my business, the story grew in my imagination. The Friesian horse became El Niño, the leader of a wild herd descended from horses that had survived a shipwreck on an uninhabited island many years before. By evening the idea wasn’t just a story idea – it was a book idea!
I started writing it by hand in the back of my journal, but worried that I would run out of pages. I commandeered a blank composition book from the school room and was about to begin copying the beginning of the story into it, until it struck me … I could use the composition book for a different story! I wasn’t limited to just one book.
That was when it dawned on me – I was going to be a writer!