I loved stories from the moment I could decipher language, but perhaps I wanted to write my own because I was afraid.
When I was little, I could never sleep. I feared cockroaches, monsters, death, fire, ridicule, parasitic infection, and hell. Even as a teenager, I could see a “wolfman” on a paperback in the afternoon and need my father to talk me down by 3 am. In the overheated Florida night, I couldn’t sleep without covers for fear illicit insects would walk over me. In the winter, with no heat, the fan still oscillated so that I couldn’t hear the footsteps in my pillow.
I began to tell myself stories to drown out the internal noise that I couldn’t block. Shaping my imagination kept it from becoming my nightmare.