Sunday, January 17, 2016

I Write Because I Read - Janet Lane Walters




Our marveklous publisher thought we should let the readers know a bit about us. So here's a bit about me. I've just entered my 48th year of being a published author but not all those years were spent writing. Some of the time was spent being a nurse and storing up material for when I returned to writing.

Now to my original bit. I read at an early age. Now this I don't remember but my mother told me the story. From the day I came home from the hospital, once a week or so my grandfather would read to me. He ran a finger under the words as he read each one. What I remember is sometime between my third and fourth birthday I began to read to my mom and dad. I quidkly went through all the children's books and those mom would find at the library. I wanted my own card. At that time to have a card you had to show you could read. I passed and began a systematic, alphabetical journey through the children's section. When I went to school I thought reading class was boring. When my turn to read from Dick and Jane, I read with expression. Was my teacher happy? Not one bit. She acused me of memorizing the book. My father didn't like this when I told him. He went to school and snagged the principal and told her,no one calls my child a liar. Pick any book off your shelf and open it and tell her to read. I passed that test and was allowed to read books during reading class. Never did learn much about Dick and Jane.

By the time I reached third grade I was reading any book my parents had on their shelves. They were also readers. I read Anna Karenina and gave it as a book report, shocking the teacher but she remembered what had happened when I was in first grade. She did object to the way I ended the book report since I found ways to change the ending. That was when I decided to become a story teller.

Writing plays to put on in a friend's garage was my first venture into fictional story telling. We had a great deal of fun and the neighbors came to our shows. There were many pages of these first efforts that were lost when we moved. But I could make up more. During high school other things came into my head. I liked all my subjects except Geometry and Typing. There was little time for writing stories but I did scribble away.

My father was a steelworker and strikes were common. I knew I couldn't spend my life trying to be a writer. I went to school and became a nurse. Occasionally I was called by one of my instructors not to be so descriptive in my nurses notes or in my case studied. The good thing I I added observing to my skills and I continued reading.

I worked as a nurse, married and had pneumonia. My sister-in-law brought me a bag of books to read. They were all nurse romances. By about the fifth book, I knew I could do better. The writers new little about nurses, doctors or hospitals. I began making notes. But selling that first book took time especially since I decided to start with short stories. In 1968 I sold the first short stories and wrote and sold more. The magazine marked for short stories was going dry. I sold two stories that I recieved money for but the magazines folded before the stories were published. So I set out again to learn how to write longer. In 1972 I sold my first romance - a nurse romance. I wrote some more, raised four children, returned to work as a nurse as they neared college age and writing went on the back burner.

I returned to writing in the late 1980's and had to learn things like queries and the like. In 1994 I was published and since then I've added a few books to my shelf. I'll put some of the covers here. By the way, I still read and write.






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