Before I start my article, I want to say how thrilled I am to join Scene 13! There are so many wonderful authors with tremendous books releasing this year. I’m humbled to be included. I’m Michelle Pickett and my debut young adult sci/fi, post-apocalyptic romance, PODs, releases June 4th (My son’s 12th birthday) through the incredible Spencer Hill Press.
Wow! What a topic. I can’t remember a time I didn’t love to read. I grew up on Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, everything Nancy Drew, Wilson Rawls (who wrote my all-time favorite, Where the Red Fern Grows which I still read each year). I soon moved on to books such as Olivia and Jai, Veil of Illusion and Shalimar by Rebecca Ryman, September and The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher, Sophie’s Choice by William Styron and anything else I could get my hands on. My family teases me that I’ll read anything with words—they’re right. I learned to read at a very young age and then it was game on. I couldn’t get enough. And I gobbled up every genre.
My best memories are spending the weekend with my grandmother. She was an avid reader. When I’d spend the weekend with her, the first thing we’d do was stop at the library on the way to her apartment. We’d check out as many books as they’d let us. Then we would read together all weekend. The television was never turned on—we didn’t need it. We entertained ourselves with new worlds, characters and adventures.
On Saturday mornings my grandma always made blueberry waffles for breakfast. It was the only time my nose wasn’t in a book. I’d devour the waffles as fast as I could so I could return to my books. When I wasn’t reading I was afraid I’d miss something. I think that’s a trait of a good author, making the reader get so engrossed in a book that they’re afraid something will happen when they aren’t reading.
Reading soon developed into writing and I discovered even more adventures and friends. Although I can remember writing short stories when I was young, I didn’t start writing seriously until I was in college, where I graduated summa cum laude with a degree in accounting. Why I chose a field that didn’t encourage creativity I’ll never understand, because my real love was reading and writing. It still is.
My grandmother has been dead for twelve years now, but I still remember the love of reading she shared with me and those wonderful weekend read-a-thons. I don’t think I’d be the writer I am today if she hadn’t fostered the love of the written word in me.
So, thank you, Grandma, for giving me the love of literature. You not only touched my life, but my children’s, as well. We have a reading hour each day. There’s no television or video games allowed. Just books. It’s the best part of our day and I can see the love of reading developing in my children and it all started with weekend trips to the library with you.
I miss my time with my grandma, but I feel her presence every time I open a new book or sit down to write. My love of literature started with her and I can’t think of a better gift.
Question of the day: Did you have a special person in your life that fostered your love of literature? Who was it and how did they encourage your love of the written word?