Let’s start right away by examining some famous authors and why they started writing.

Stephen King,
Author of most books non-readers will read

According to Joe Hartlaub, Mainer Stephen King began writing for his aunt when he was nine years old because she was paying him (a quarter). Later, as King would describe in his book “On Writing” and Hartlaub describes in his article, King wrote short stories to earn extra money when he was teaching English. He wanted to earn the most money per story, so he sold many of his early stories to men’s magazines. The work experience gave King enough insight into adolescent life to write Carrie. King often credits his wife Tabitha with supporting and encouraging him to write. In “On Writing”, he also mentions that he writes for Tabitha as an audience, which perhaps explains why his books can grab the attention of almost any reader, because he has an audience in mind.

King is a cross-genre writer, and he doesn’t just write horror fiction. For example, his nonfiction book “On Writing” is one of the best writing books available, not only because it shows how to use reality to create fiction, but also because it inspires writers.

Source: article by Joe Hartlaub at: http://www.bookreporter.com/authors/au-king-stephen.asp
You can read an excerpt from “On Writing” at:

ray bradbury
Author of “The Martian Chronicles” and “The Sound of Thunder”

In a 2004 interview quoted below, Ray Bradbury explains that he began writing stories about Mars when he was 12 years old. For Bradbury, what he loved at first became the subject of some of his most famous works, notably “The Martian Chronicles.” As Bradbury says, “The important thing is to be in love with something.”

Bradbury’s interview is fascinating as it explains the relationship between science fiction and space exploration. He also discusses how we should have stayed on the moon and used it as a base for future space exploration. In truth, he writes about his passion and for that passion.

In Jonathan Kirsch’s “Ray Bradbury’s Sunny Terrors,” we learn that Bradbury had a carnival worker magically tell him to live forever. According to the article, the words of the carnival worker influenced Bradbury to start writing and not stop. Maybe writing is living forever. . .

Read Catherine Donaldson-Evan’s 2004 interview with Ray Bradbury at:
Read Jonathan Kirsch’s article on Ray Bradbury at:
[http://www.calendarlive.com/books/bookreview/cl-bk-kirsch26jun26],0,1455766.story?coll=cl-book review

Nora Roberts aka JD Robb
Author of “Northern Lights” and “Origin of Death” as well as many more romance and mystery novels.

According to the article “A Conversation with Nora Roberts” by Claire E. White, Nora Roberts began writing because of “the blizzard of ’79, two young children, no morning kindergarten, endless games of Candyland, and a shortage of chocolate. All these things and events led me to write my first book. . . To entertain myself, I decided to get one of the stories out of my head and write it down.

Of course, Roberts grew up reading romance novels, and she wrote the kind of novel she did. Harlequin rejected his manuscripts for a year before they opened a new line that would fit Roberts’ (American, not British) style.

You can read Claire E. White’s article on Nora Roberts at:
Roberts’ website is:

billy collins
US Poet Laureate 2001-03 (meaning he was reappointed to the position)

In Christina Patterson’s article, “Billy Collins: Laughter in the Dark,” readers learn that Collins wrote his first poem at age ten and continued through graduate school, where he learned and then unlearned the complexity of lack of humor from the earlier poems (imagine TS Eliot) and found it cool that he could write a poem about Elvis Presley instead.

Be sure to read the poems in Patterson’s article. I found the one in the top right column hilarious.

Read Patterson’s UK article on Collins at:

Read an interesting interview with Collins and his approach to the importance of accessibility for the reader:

Why do we write? It is a fascinating question. I agree with many of the previous authors. I write, as I explained to someone recently, because I have to. Writing is an irresistible temptation: a new DVD to play, seeds to plant, a new life to live. Writing is also a necessity: the expression of my soul, my gifts to the world, a way for this introvert to touch the world. I wrote my first lyrics at the age of 11. At that time, I wanted to write a love song that people around the world would use to express their latent emotions, so that I could give others a voice that I often didn’t have for myself. . Also at the age of 11 I started working on magazines and two books, one about an unknown pyramid inspired by a school project and another about time travel. There is no doubt that Ray Bradbury put the idea there.

Imagine that the fairground worker just told you what he told Ray Bradbury: “You will live forever. . .”

Let’s see if that does for you what it did for Bradbury.

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