As a young child growing up in Pennsylvania and not yet able to read or write, I’d pretend a story from the colorful cartoons printed on the back of a corn flakes cereal box. Alphabet letters were scribbled inside odd-shaped bubbles. But, having no idea what they meant the only thing in my mind to do was to make something up.
As my sister and I learned to read our grandparents bought sets of children’s encyclopedias for us. They were wonderful books about different lands, cultures and peoples. My favorite was the one on Lapland. The people wore vibrantly-colored clothing and shoes that turned up at the toes tied with ribbons. Most of all, reading those beloved books invoked a sense of being swept away to a distant ethereal world.
By the age of 12 I was reading Alfred Hitchcock. My favorite of his – “Stories That Scared Even Me”, is a collection of short stories. As a Hitchcock Magazine Club member, a fresh mystery magazine arrived in the postal mail every month. They contained advertisements to take a trip on the Orient Express Dinner Train where the lights go out, a murder is staged and enraptured guests are tasked with figuring out who did it. It has always been a romantic fantasy of mine to ride that dinner train for a tasty evening of a good who done it adventure.
The Book Mobile came to our neighborhood once every week all summer long while school was out. This prepubescent young girl was ever faithful to be first in line returning the previous week’s borrowed books and picking up two more for another glorious week of voracious reading. I chose books that were scary like spine-chilling murder mysteries, the eerie paranormal and creepy supernatural. Fantastic edge of your seat tales set amidst esoteric characters.
Later, it was the likes of Stephen King, Patricia Cornwell, Barker, Koontz and Christie. Prolific writers of ghostly encounters and the dark abstruse angle of human nature. However, “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, is an all time treasured literary classic. It was required reading in elementary school and I loved every word of it.
Now, all grown up it is time to pen and self publish my own writing. Stirring events that have occurred in my life deserve to have juicy stories woven around them that can transport readers to another time, another space and beyond. May you find reading the stories as enjoyable as I have enjoyed writing them.