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People often ask if I consider myself to be an author or a writer. My answer is always the same. Neither. If I consider myself anything at all, it’s a storyteller who happens to write her stories on paper.
My love for storytelling came from my grandmother, who, in my opinion, was the best tale-spinner on the planet. I remember sitting at the foot of her rocker, utterly spellbound as she told story after story – all of them fact, not fiction, mind you – of supernatural events that some uncle, aunt, or cousin had encountered ‘back in the day.’ Being Cajun, it was only natural that her entire body played a part in the telling of the tale. Her hand gestures were emphatic, her eyes widening or narrowing for effect, her entire body tensing and leaning forward as she reached the spookiest part of the tale. I remember wishing I could be just like her.
Second to the love of my grandmother’s stories was my fascination with words and their meaning. Even as a kid, I thought it was important to use the perfect words when conveying anything of weight, especially emotions. Little did I know that those two loves would steer me towards writerdom.
Growing up, I didn’t have aspirations of becoming an author. In fact, aside from a few short stories written out of boredom in grade school, the thought of being a writer never crossed my mind. Instead, I dreamed of being an astronaut, Superman, a nun, a bull-rider, a singer, and a teacher. It wasn’t until life had me well in the grips of adulthood that the storytelling urge overtook me, and I started penning tales.
At first the task was frustrating and daunting. Although I saw the story clearly in my head and could have easily told it standing before a million people, writing it without the aid of hand-gestures, facial expressions, or body language seemed impossible. It took a dozen or more false starts before it finally dawned on me... I could use all those expressions of passion and conviction if I chose just the right words. You’ve got to love how life sets you up sometimes, you know?
Enough about me for now. I want to talk about you – to anyone reading this, know that I’m truly honoured that you’ve chosen to spend a little time with me here. Life is short and minutes are precious. The fact that you’ve spared a few for me has not gone unnoticed. And I’m equally honoured and humbled every time you shop for a book and choose one of mine from the thousands available to you. Because of you, I’m able to continue a tradition I’ve loved for a lifetime – storytelling. Thank you for giving me that gift.