Reader Friday: What made you decide to become a writer?

John Grisham, before going to college and law school, becoming an attorney, and beginning to write, had several occupations. As a teenager, he worked at a plant nursery, watering bushes. He was soon promoted to the fence crew. Later, he began working as a plumber’s assistant, then found work on a highway paving crew. When a gun fight broke out among the workers, he sought safety in a restroom, where he remained until the police had cleared the scene. He hitchhiked home, and began thinking seriously about college. His next job was in retail, as a sales clerk in a department store men’s underwear section.

What occupations did you have before you became a writer, and what made you decide to become a writer?

This entry was posted in becoming a writer, occupations, Writing by Steve Hooley. Bookmark the permalink.

About Steve Hooley

Steve Hooley is the author of seven short stories published in four anthologies, a Vella serial fiction, and is currently working on the Mad River Magic series – a fantasy adventure series for advanced middle-grade to adults. More details available at:

63 thoughts on “Reader Friday: What made you decide to become a writer?

  1. Hmmmm….lemme see after 75 years. Pump jockey, tire changer, burger flipper, Volkswagen mechanic, wire salesman-I was no good at it and got fired-tow truck driver, Ma Bell cable splicer, millhand, auto parts clerk, shock absorber salesman-again no good and got fired-engineering assistant weighing airplanes, aircraft engine mechanic, aircraft plumbing and flight line inspector, lawyer, before I quit all that stuff in 2014.

    One of my jobs at McDonnell Douglas was timing aircraft toilet functions with a stopwatch.

    I woke up out of a sound sleep back in 2019, booted up my computer and started writing about a Korean war vet who gets mixed up with the Kansas City mob. I have no idea where it came from. It’s wretched stuff, but since then I’ve been working on learning the craft and improving my skills thanks to JSB’s excellent craft books, community college, Coursera, a couple of writing groups and the like. I’m doing an edX storytelling class and likely will try NaNoWriMo this year.

    I figured I had stories to tell so I’d best learn how to tell them. My particular genre is a pretty narrow field of short stories (rural noir) and I’ve latched on to a published author who’s taken me under his wing, so to speak.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what the other folks have to say.

    • Wow, Robert, that’s quite a list of occupations. You had me laughing with the job of timing aircraft toilet functions with a stopwatch. That should be fun to work into a story sometime.

      I’m glad you started writing, and you picked a great author in JSB for craft-of-writing books. That’s probably a common thread we’ll see today.

      Let us know when any of your rural noir stories are published or if you publish an anthology of your stories.

      Thanks for telling us your story.

    • I. Am. In. Awe, Robert!

      All of those experiences in the 8-5 crowd, or 8-8 perhaps, feed into your writing. Which makes for better stories, I’m sure.

      Thanks for sharing! I’m going to read on. This is going to be a fun morning …

  2. My jobs:
    Secretary, USC Astronomy Department.
    Aerospace engineer, Saturn S-IVB, etc., Douglas.
    Project engineer, Union Carbide
    Senior process engineer:
    Kaserve/Essense Engineering,
    Derksen Engineering,
    Manager, robotics manufacturing, Excellon Micronetics
    Process Engineer, Superfund Site Remediation
    Petroleum engineer, Platform Holly, etc.
    IT engineer, E&L Engineering

    I don’t recall ever deciding, “Hot damn! I think I’ll be a writer!” I just thought up something to say and started writing. My first publication was a reprise of the Tower of Babel story while working in robotics, July 1981, Beware the Wrath of Abibarshim. It’s still out there on the Internerd.
    My dad loved books and used to buy boxes full of them on his day off. We had thousands of books in our den. I still have two A. A. Milne books inscribed with my name and “Christmas 1944,” in my father’s neatest MD handwriting. I got books for Christmas every year. In 5th grade, I maxxed out on the reading comprehension test, but it didn’t seem important. My sister read L. Sprague deCamp’s “Science Fiction Handbook,” and passed it along to me, about 1953. My doom was established at that point.

    • Impressive list of engineering occupations and jobs, JG. I’m glad your sister gave you her copy of “Science Fiction Handbook,” and doomed you to writing. And also, it’s good to hear that there are a few MDs with neat handwriting. I haven’t run into many of them.

      I’ll check out Beware the Wrath of Abibarshim. Sounds interesting.

      Thanks for all your input and participation here at TKZ.

  3. After shining Dad’s shoes for a quarter a pair, my paying jobs moved to:
    Farm hand at 13 for an “airline” farmer – a pilot friend of Dad’s who raised horses and a beef steer;
    Bussing tables at the Holiday Inn;
    Counter and clean up at a dry cleaner through high school
    Warehouseman for a summer
    Extra in an outdoor theater production for another summer
    Several stints in fast food – washing dishes, tending counter, and inventory
    Six Flags seasonal – in the haunted castle, the parking lot (where the cute girls were), and security
    Airline shop labor, cabin services, and ramp (baggage smashing), services
    Working on getting my four year degree in six years…
    Aviation Officer Candidate School (too many fannies, not enough seats…)
    Healthcare facilities management and construction where I’ve been since 19@#%@… first with a university teaching hospital, then a break at an interior design firm for a year, followed by Kaiser-Permanente, and another break with a corporate design and construction division, before landing at the big safety net hospital/health system here in Atlanta… (seems like every time I’d step away from healthcare, I’d get lassoed back…)
    No wonder I’m tuckered out…

    Somewhere in the middle of the high school daze I got the writer virus, infected by an awesome English teacher and my stumbling across Richard Brautigan’s _A Confederate General from Big Sur_ and other works that said, “Hey, kid – you can do this…”.

    I have been scribbling and scratching ever since – short stories, poetry (some published in college), songs (a couple earning royalties), a NaNo or three… and quite a few other starts and stutters… but it’s never been my “day job” (even when I was working night shifts…)

    Growing up, we had books galore, from door to door on every floor… and after clearing the hurdle of suffering through some grade school summer “forced” reading have been reading ever since… science fiction, action, mysteries, history, humor, biographies, how-to’s, the back of cereal boxes… I’ve had a library card since I was seven (I believe)…

    • Wonderful writing journey, George. Thanks for confirming that there really is a name for the job of airline luggage mutilation. Interesting to hear that there was a high school English teacher in the influencer mix. It will be interesting to see how many people mention that today. I know there was one in my history who got me excited about writing.

      The connection with voluminous reading is great to hear. I bet that is a common link we’ll find today. I’d like to learn more about your music sometime.

      Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. Good morning, Steve.

    Thanks for the interesting questions to intellectually jump-start the day.

    Occupations? Oh my…mowing lawns, supermarket cart-boy and cashier, road crew laborer, police dispatcher, record store clerk, disc jockey, Social Security claims representative, attorney in the government and private sector, actor, and security and self-defense consultant.

    I was inspired to become a writer when my life-long friend Bill Plant, after reading a letter I sent him, wrote back and said, “You ought to be a writer.” Notwithstanding that advice, we are still friends.

    Thanks again, Steve. Have a great weekend!

    • Good morning, Joe. I’m glad Bill Plant nudged you into writing.

      It’s always interesting to read all the different occupations that writers have been employed in before writing (or while writing). You have a connection with John Grisham with your road crew work. Hopefully there weren’t any gun fights to end that job. And you did end up in the legal profession like Grisham.

      I’m betting Bill Plant encouraged you to be a writer because of the wry humor your comments and writing is filled with.

      Thanks for contributions to TKZ, as a previous post contributor and as a regular commenter.

      Have a great weekend!

  5. I forgot to mention in the opening that Deb Gorman came up with the questions for today and next Friday, plus the idea for the discussions for the first two Fridays of this month.

    Thanks, Deb, for some great ideas!

  6. babysitter, teacher at many levels, tutor, temp secretary, Tupperware lady, conference registrar and membership admin for an international scientific organization, zoo Outreach Coordinator. Lots of volunteering.
    Writing? Ran out of room for needlepoint. Didn’t want to do housework.

    • Good morning, Terry. I love that needlepoint explanation for starting to write. And, looking through your list of occupations, it appears that you have had multiple “jobs” where there was lots of interaction with many people. Great background study for writing characters. Amazing, the spectrum of personality that we call “normal.”

      I’m glad you started writing, and thanks for your many contributions here at TKZ!

  7. As a teen I babysat, taught swim lessons, was a lifeguard, and worked a fast food counter. After college I was an engineering physicist and a swim coach.

    I wanted to become a novelist way back in elementary school after sneaking a grown up novel (The Exorcist) from my parents’ collection. I didn’t know books could have that kind of visceral effect on the reader. That’s when I decided to become a novelist and provide emotional experiences for the reader (hopefully positive experiences rather than the terror I felt after reading Blatty’s book!).

    • Thanks for contributing to the discussion today, Vera.

      I wonder how many writers were captured, at a young age, by the emotional discovery of “grown up” books. Probably many. I remember my parents removing books from the shelves after discovering I was reading them.

      Thanks for your books and the positive emotional experiences you are creating.

  8. Though non-paying, my first job was as a writer–they don’t issue work permits in grade school. 😎

    Job-wise: pepper-picker, receptionist, compensation analyst, administrative assistant (most of my life).

    While writing is not, at this point, a paying occupation, I write to puzzle out life, to have adventures I may not be able to have in real life, and to bring justice when it’s needed.

    • Love that, BK, child labor in grade school. At least it got you started writing. And hopefully it didn’t scar you too deeply.

      Very interesting list of occupations. I couldn’t help but think of the poem, Peter Piper picked a peck of peppers… And, I bet, the job as compensation analyst gave you a deep look into how far people will go to deceive and get compensated. That’s a great resource when you’re creating characters.

      I like your reasons for writing. Thanks for contributing to the discussion.

  9. Babysitter. Restaurants–dishwasher, and bussing and waiting tables. “Babysitting” a motel when owners took vacation week. Retail worker. Grocery store cashier. Clean houseboats. County case aid for a family. As a social worker–networking for jobs, homes, and independence for people with mental illness or cognitive disabilities, and for elderly to remain in their own homes. In a sheltered worksite–direct care for physically and/or cognitively disabled. In ministry–pastor small churches and a city church, being a program worker at a Scottish abbey for weekly guests then speaking engagements back in the U.S. about the abbey work.

    I’ve always enjoyed stories. Dad was always reading. An aunt gave me a paper bag full of romance and regency. A girlfriend and I exchanged Alastair MacLean, Mary Stewart, and Phyllis Whitney. Someone introduced me to Lord of the Ring and the Dune trilogy. I wanted to write stories too that allow for traveling far and wide from our chairs!

    • Wow, Lisa, that’s a long and varied list of occupations (and travel). Many of those will provide a deep understanding of people, and a rich source for creating characters.

      Isn’t it wonderful how parents’ and relatives’ reading habits help get us started on the reading path…and guide us toward writing?

      Thanks for sharing your story.

  10. Movie theater usher (remember those?)
    Typist (remember typewriters?)

    Saw Moonstruck in ’88 and decided I had to be a writer because I wanted to make people feel the way I felt after the movie.

    • Thanks for sharing your path to writing, Jim. Many of us here have been guided by your wonderful craft-of-writing books, and entertained by your fiction. Thanks for all you do to make TKZ a place for writers.

  11. Babysitter, temp secretary, secretary/receptionist/gopher for a real estate brokerage firm, burger flipper at two different burger joints (I still can’t eat a Burger King burger after that), banquet server in college, substitute teacher, elementary school teacher.

    I grew up reading stories. My favorite places were the public and school libraries. (I volunteered in my 5th and 6th grade libraries.) I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember.

    It wasn’t until I started to homeschool my kids back in the mid-2000’s that I decided to write a novel. I’d read a homeschooling book called “The Writer’s Jungle,” and the author said, if we wanted our children to learn to write, we had to model it ourselves. That was all the push I needed to write a fantasy story that had been living in my head for a long time.

    At my husband’s suggestion, I self-published one copy to prove that I’d finished. I ended up giving it to friends and family and then put it on Amazon. I’ve been working on the sequel since 2009.

    • Wonderful story, Michelle. I like that advice from “The Writer’s Jungle” about modeling our writing for our children. Congratulations on your first novel, and I hope you’ll be able to finish the sequel.

      Thanks for participating today.

  12. At 13, my first real job was at Brigham’s (ice cream), then I worked at a hair salon while working toward my cosmetology license. In my spare time, I volunteered at animal shelters and nursing homes and worked as a cocktail waitress at night. Later, I owned and operated two hair salons. I also worked as a paralegal (self-taught) for over a decade.

    What made me want to become a writer? This may sound strange… When my husband and I moved north into a more rural area, I had an overwhelming urge to write. Years before, I wrote children’s books and short stories, but I never even considered doing it for a living… until we moved. It’s like the stars aligned.

    • Strangely, 30 years after my mother died, I found out she wanted to be a writer in the worst way. Guess I’m living the dream for both of us. <3

      • Good morning, Sue. Your list of occupations is a list of a very motivated person.

        I like your start as writing short stories and books for children. I can identify with that. And it’s wonderful that you can live the dream for your mother, as well as yourself, with your writing.

        Have a great weekend!

      • Ahh, Sue, how sweet! Your mom is surely celebrating with you. Isn’t that what moms always do?

        My mom passed away a few months before my first book was published-she never got to hold it. I know she would’ve been proud, because she is the one who instilled in me a love for literature.

  13. Newspaper delivery boy, babysitter, teen janitor (helping my dad with his second job), bottling plant in high school (after school job, where I met my future wife—we both loved books), part-time school custodian while in college, instructional aide, library clerk, and library assistant (para-librarian—I don’t have an MLS, my degree is in history).

    I wrote my first actual short stories in eight grade—two science fiction tales, for a language arts class. A few fragmentary tales followed. I studied journalism in high school and wrote a column for the local newspaper. In college, I realized that I really wanted to write fiction—I loved fiction and wanted to write my own. I finished my degree in history and started at the library.

    My mother gave me my first typewriter after I made that decision to “be” a writer. I had moved out a few months earlier to get married to my high school sweetheart, and mom never showed any doubts that I would eventually fulfill my dream. She passed away in 1988, and didn’t get to see me eventually become an author, but she’s with me in spirit, every day.

    • Inspirational story, Dale. Very interesting. And, it’s wonderful how your mother had faith and confidence in your ultimate success with writing. Parental encouragement is a powerful motivator.

      It was good to hear your story of your path to writing. Thanks for all your contributions here at TKZ – retired from the library, but still in the archives. Hmm.

      Have a wonderful weekend!

  14. Great question, Steve and Deb. Interesting to learn more about TKZ’s community.

    Babysitter, camp counselor, secretary/file clerk (I knew the alphabet unlike the previous clerk).
    Loan processor and loan collector for a bank. In the days of manual typewriters, carbon paper, and whiteout, each collection letter was individually typed. I got bored with the same old “Your payment is now XX months past due. Please remit immediately to prevent further action, blah, blah, blah.” So one day I waxed creative. “Come on, XX, you’re late again. When are you going to get your act together b/c I’m tired of writing to you every single month. The new repossession guy is 6’6″ and you don’t want to meet him.” Somehow the letter got routed upstairs all the way to the president. Apparently he got a laugh out of it–and it’s hard to make a banker laugh. I didn’t get fired.
    Legal secretary, retail clerk selling large appliances and sewing machines, rental property manager, real estate agent, owner/operator of numerous small businesses. When we sold our last business and moved to MT, I took creative writing classes at the community college and decades of collected stories in my head came pouring out. Haven’t stopped since.

    My grandmother was a great storyteller and taught me to read. I devoured books. Miss Parker, my third grade teacher, encouraged my writing. Other teachers through school and college also encouraged me, I won awards, etc. But advisors said writing wasn’t a secure, viable profession. Still isn’t, for that matter!

    But it sure is fun. Now I’m living the dream.

    • Good morning, Debbie. I love reading what your write, and you had me laughing at least two times with your mention of the filing clerk who didn’t know the alphabet, and the debt collection letter that made it all the way to the president’s desk. I almost choked on that one. It would be great if you could find a copy of that collection letter and copyright it as a template for collection agencies to use.

      I’m glad you made it all the way through the list of occupations to keep the advisors happy, but still had it in you to tackle the creative writing classes at the community college and start writing.

      Thanks for telling us your writing story. I love your books.

      I hope your weekend is filled with friends and happiness!

  15. It was John Grisham, actually.

    You see, I was his “PR handler” when he came to town to deliver the keynote address at the Virginia Festival of the Book. I arranged a press conference for the local media with him, and also whisked him quietly in and out of events when he didn’t want to deal with clamoring fans.

    This was years ago. After I’d spent decades in various roles where writing was always involved, although never the main focus.

    So I’m sitting alone with him at one point, and he asks, “When are you going to write your first novel, Harald?”

    I stared at him. “You think I can write a novel?”

    He smiled. “I know you can write, but do you have a story to tell?”

    He left town, but I let that question simmer for a few years. Until I connected my personal history to the birth of New York City in the 17th century. And then wrote—and published—my first novel: New York 1609.

    Thank you, John.

    • Great story, Harald. I had heard you discuss your book and 17th century New York. I hadn’t heard the John Grisham story. I should have let you write the intro for this morning’s discussion.

      Did you get Grisham to write a blurb for your book?

      That would have been quite the experience, getting to talk to Grisham.

      Thanks for telling us the story, Harald.

  16. Got kicked out already-“denied for too many attempts” gremlin. So, trying again.

    First, thanks for all the backstories, TKZers! What a varied group…

    At 14, worked in some real estate offices. I’ve been at various times, in addition to being a mom, a switchboard operator, a County Sheriff’s dispatcher, scheduler for a neurosurgery office, medical assistant for an orthopedic surgeon, and lastly, 15 years at our local cancer center before retiring.

    Books/stories have always been a passion with me. Started writing in 2012, first published in 2016. I’m not sure why I started writing, though. Maybe it’s because I always have a need to figure out what makes life tick.

    • Good morning, Deb. Sorry you’re being picked on by the “denied-for-too-many-attempts” gremlin.

      Thanks for the ideas for the first two Fridays of this month on reader-writer connections. And thanks for the ideas for today and next week.

      N.B. Deb will be leading the discussion next week on “The best writing tip ever.” Don’t miss it.

      Thanks again. And have a great weekend!

  17. The first non-allowance money I remember making was moving wheelbarrows filled with giant rocks from one part of a neighbor’s property to another, and stacking them to form a garden wall. Five cents per rock seemed like a good deal at the time.

    At 15, I tried my hand at telemarketing, selling family portrait packages for Olan Mills Portrait Studio.

    At 16, I volunteered at WETA TV, the DC-area PBS affiliate. The show was called Metrotivity, and I produced a segment on finding summer jobs. It won a local Emmy which I was not allowed to touch.

    At 17, I worked for Army Times Publishing Company, selling subscriptions over the phone. I wasn’t very good at it, but it paid $5/hour PLUS commissions.

    Through college, I was a counselor at a summer camp for overprivileged rich kids. I loved it. Years would pass before I ever had that much responsibility again.

    Armed with my BA in History, I went to work for Construction Magazine. I started as an editorial assistant and got promoted to managing editor. To this day, I have no idea what a managing editor does. That was, hands-down, my worst job ever.

    Started with the volunteer fire department. Learned there was such a thing as a safety engineer. Back to grad school for a master’s degree in safety engineering.

    Hired by Atlantic Research Corporation as a junior engineer in the safety department. Promoted to department head. Learned SO MUCH about EVERYTHING. A wonderful job, but upon a mandatory transfer to East Camden, Arkansas (aka Middle of Nowhere), I had to leave.

    Hazco, Inc., was my next stop. In the Wild West days of brand new hazardous waste regulations, that company was a license to print money. I ran their safety consulting division.

    Chemical Waste Management, Inc., bought Hazco, fired everyone except for me and my division. Within five years, CWM found itself in tough financial straights. I bought my division away from them for literally pennies on the dollar. Thus was born . . .

    Compliance Services, Inc., a safety and environmental consulting service that focused on the automotive service and repair industry. I was president of Compliances Services when I wrote NATHAN’S RUN and AT ALL COSTS. Finally, I sold the company to the employees.

    After 8 years as a fulltime writer, I got bored and went back to work as the director of safety for the Institute of Scrap Recycling industries in DC. That was a great job until it wasn’t. Effective January 1, 2015, I became a fulltime writer again.

    • Wow, John, that’s quite a resume. I liked your description of being managing editor of Construction Magazine. And I was impressed with all your experience in safety and environmental issues.

      Were there any jobs in your list that convinced you to get out of safety engineering and move into writing?

      Thanks for sharing your story.

  18. “To this day, I have no idea what a managing editor does.” Does anybody?

    What a list of experience, John. I, for one, am glad…because it makes your stories all that much more fun to read. 🤓

    • I was afraid you would ask. I guess I didn’t get the DFTMA gremlin turned back on soon enough.

      -sixth grade – farm hand (hauled manure and trimmed around trees)
      -seventh grade – my family moved to the country and I became a fence repairman (my dad had horses) and mower (fields, with a tractor and bush hog)
      -summers after 12th grade and freshman in college – orderly at the local hospital
      -college during summer – worked in an Alcan Aluminum plant making siding for the mobile home industry
      -summer between college and med school – worked for an excavator and landscaper

      Decision to write:
      My junior year of high school I had an English teacher who taught me how much fun writing could be.

      I learned while working in the hospital as the only orderly that I didn’t want to spend my life cleaning up male patients who didn’t make it to the restroom in time.

      In 2009 I spent the summer editing my dad’s memoirs and got hooked on writing. I took a correspondence course, began reading JSB’s books, and attending conferences

      Okay, Deb. It’s your turn. What’s your story?

  19. I started out like a lot of teenagers babysitting, then when I was 14, I became a waitress at a drugstore restaurant…dropped a loaded tray of food, barely missing the customer…worked at a chain grocery, cruised timber with my husband, kept the books for our lumber business, trained horses as a hobby which included breaking some…all this time I read everything I could get my hands on, including cereal boxes.

    When I turned 35, I couldn’t sleep and one night as I lay staring at the ceiling, the vision of a man standing at a window. He turned to me and said, “My life wasn’t supposed to turn out like this.”
    After that when I couldn’t sleep, I told myself stories about why his life had turned out so badly. Then other people came to live in my head and wouldn’t go away until I wrote down their stories. I subscribed to “Writers Digest” and read Lawrence Block’s columns, then James Scott Bell’s, wrote my first short story that Woman’s World bought and 33 years later, my first book was published.

    Since 2013, I’ve written sixteen 90K word books. Fifteen have been published with #16 due out February 6 and I’m working on book 17. Like Terry–I’d rather be writing than cleaning!

    • Wow, Patricia. Thanks for sharing your story.

      You’ve had wide and varied experiences that have enriched your stories. And those people in your head, do they keep continue to live there, or do they move out when you write a story about them? It could get crowded.

      Congratulations on your publishing success. Good luck with #16.

      Thanks for participating in the discussion today!

  20. I’ve been riding trains and tramping around DC all day so am late, but looking at the replies, I realized I am not the only one who switched jobs a lot. Being in one job my whole life was not something I could do. I got bored and wanted to try something new.
    Lifeguard, camp counselor, swimming instructor
    Bank teller, student loan officer
    Highway construction company office manager
    Radio station traffic director (scheduling air time), voice for commercials and weather reports
    Property/casualty insurance agent
    School District business manager
    Group travel agent, trip planner

    As for writing, always. I was editor of my high school newspaper, an eight-page weekly that went out to 3,000 students. I wanted to be a photojournalist, but got married as a teenager and dropped out of college. I had all these stories in my head and filled spiral notebooks with them, but it wasn’t until my husband bought me a computer that I typed one out and sent it off to an editor, who bought and published it. My mother said, “Don’t you dare stop writing just because you proved you could.” I mostly did, but never stopped the stories in my head.

    • Good afternoon, Becky. You’re never late. We’re always open.

      I am impressed with the breadth of your work experiences. You could do a blog on work advice.

      And the writing, I agree with your mother, “Don’t you dare stop writing…” To have your first submission accepted is truly impressive. So start talking to those people and stories in your head, and get back to the computer. You can do it!

  21. The experiences of my youth seems to have paralleled those of many others on this blog. Dish washer and busboy in restaurant, bicycle then car mechanic, carpenter, roofer, electrician, plumber, brick layer, masonry, lawn maintenance, poop spreader (they told me it was fertilizer.)

    The only thing out of the ordinary is the subject of my current wip told as fiction, a year of smuggling. Not drugs or anything like that, but rich girls who would do anything to escape their cloistered finishing school. I marveled at how they could weave a believable fiction about a common country boy being born with a silver spoon in his mouth and meeting the blue blood pedigree required to be an “approved male escort” as required by their school’s rules. Designed to keep them away from — well boys like me.

    One girl would leave with me as her official date out the front door of their sorority while 4 others would sneak out and get in my car parked in the dark. I arranged a party for them at my apartment with buddies from my air base. That was risky enough but the girls wanted more. I made 5 round trips, collecting 25 of them. Made me very popular at both the base and the school. “Death stakes” as JSB would put it. One slip up and I would have faced court martial for conduct unbecoming.

    My compensation was being a kept man, all the food and drink I could handle plus maid service to erase the wear and tear to my apartment.

    As for being exposed to writing, in high school I was sports editor, then editor of the school newspaper and year book. Liked writing but life happened and I didn’t return to it for half a century.

    Had a story to tell but soon realized I didn’t have a clue to how this craft was performed. I bought JSB’s Master Class and built a foundation on that. Other well established authors offered courses and I took them as well. All provided pieces to the puzzle, some assembly required.

    • Sorry for the late response, Lars.

      Wow, your story of your experience smuggling sorority girls to your parties is a great foundation for a thriller. I don’t know what your working title is, but I’ll throw out a suggestion. Kept Man

      Thanks for sharing your story. Good luck with the writing. Please let us know when your book is published.

      • Thanks for your kind encouragement. The title is, “On Dating 25 Girls in One Evening,” (can’t do italics.) My intent it to draw potential readers into wondering, “How is that even possible?” which is the feedback I get from betas. Their first guess is “Speed Dating” which wasn’t a thing during the story’s time-frame a half century ago.

        WIP is close to being finished after 15 revisions. Only 2% needs a rewrite before my editor gets his hands on the whole manuscript. He’s seen sections and remains enthusiastic.

Comments are closed.