The Author Answers Your Questions
How did you get started writing?
In grade school I wrote stories using my classmates as the characters. I was too shy to ask, but I was curious about their lives away from school, so I invented adventures for them. I still have some of those spiral notebook stories in a box under the bed. They are still terrible. About the same time, I started a neighborhood newspaper. I typed out copies over and over between layers of carbon paper until the last page grew too faint to read. (Know what carbon paper was?) I left blank squares on each page for drawing in the illustrations and stick figure cartoons, also by me. I got in trouble for printing stories about neighbors’ divorces (overheard at supper table) and fathers who drank lots of beer. That was the end of that.
After getting invited to work on my junior high newspaper, there was no turning back. Then I wrote a humor column –mostly about my little brother, which he found unfunny– and was chosen editor of my high school newspaper, The Austin Maroon. In college, I majored in journalism, what else? and worked as News Editor of The Daily Texan. We got to stay up late to put the paper to bed each night, and I had my own key to the dorm! One summer before I graduated, I won a guest editor spot on Mademoiselle Magazine in New York City. After graduation I married another journalist and went to work for The Houston Chronicle as a feature writer. I got to think up my own stories, but, unlike my neighborhood reporting, you can bet I made sure everything I wrote was true.