Paula explains when and why she started to write.
Some people say, “I decided to write when …” or “I became a writer when …"
When I see comments like this, I’m very aware that I never ‘decided’ to write, and I never ‘became’ a writer. I’ve always been a writer, at least from the time I learnt to write. Before that I created stories in my mind, inventing adventures for my dolls and Teddy bear. It was a natural progression to write some of those stories and when I was about eight, my class teacher wrote on my report card, “She writes very good stories.”
Maybe I was blessed with an over-active imagination, or maybe, as an only child, creating and writing stories was my way of not being ‘alone’.
I was also a voracious reader and, inspired by Enid Blyton (a prolific children’s author in the UK at the time), I wrote dozens of ‘spin-offs’ from her stories, before progressing to stories about my own characters. I still remember a lot of my first full-length 'novel' (probably about 50K words) which I wrote when I was 10 or 11, about a group of children who converted an old barn into a theatre and produced their own plays in order to convince their parents they were serious about acting. I was stagestruck even then!
Once I reached my teens, I discovered romance, and wrote (very cheesy!) romance stories for my friends to read each morning on the school bus. I also wrote detailed diaries, first about the teachers I had a crush on, and then, of course, about boys. Wish I still had those diaries – they would probably be hilarious to read now!
When and why did you start writing stories?