This week, Written Words is participating in Tasha Turner's Master Koda Blog Tour. It works like this: I'm hosting blogger Allison Bruning, and Raymond Frazee is hosting my guest post.
The first week's topic: what got you into writing? Take it away, Allison!
Passion! It is the heartbeat of any writer, the insatiable hunger from deep within an author’s soul to write.
Lord Byron once said, “If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad.” I know how he feels; the flow of words that clutter your mind, urging you to pour out your heart and soul onto a blank piece of paper. The longer you ignore it the more you think you will go insane. Your only relief lies with pen and paper or your computer. Letting go of reality, you allow your characters to tell the story. You draw so close to them and dig so deep into your story you forget time and place. You begin to talk about your characters as if they weren’t fictional but members of your family. The story unfolds before your eyes. Lost within, you are consumed by the story and forget the pen, paper or computer. You know the story is over when you feel it. The journey has ended. Sorrow fills your heart. The writing process is like a drug habit that leaves you craving for more. The American author and editor, E. L. Doctorow, summed up the experience saying, “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”
I have felt compelled to bare my heart and soul into the written word from an early age. The only child of a single mother, I would often spend most of my time at my grandmother’s house. One afternoon after she picked me up from kindergarten, I had showed her a tiny book I had made in school. I was excited about my new book. A few days later, my grandmother surprised me with paper, pen, crayons and construction paper. She wanted me to make her a book. I couldn’t have been more elated! My grandmother had recognized my passion for writing and decided to foster that. For years I would write her a story then I would read it to her.
As I grew older, I tried my hand at keeping a diary but my diary ended up being more of a journal. I began to discover I could write pages upon pages of material in one sitting. I also enjoyed reading. There was never a day that went by where I didn’t carry a book, a notepad and a pen with me. There was just so much to explore and write about! In upper elementary school, I was placed in advanced reading classes. By middle school, I discovered I had a love for research and writing reports. I continued to write fiction and poems but felt a need to further explore the world of writing.
In eighth grade, I was reading at a freshman college level and was writing reports at a high school level. I was even getting in trouble at school on purpose so I would be sent to Saturday school in order to write reports. That worked well until the principal and my mother learned why I wanted to get in trouble. By the time I was in high school, I had written over 20 books, 2 movie scripts, and over a dozen research papers on my own. I was poet for the literary magazine, a newspaper reporter and a member of the yearbook in high school.
My thirst for writing never left me after high school. It was only intensified as I discovered the English Department at Sul Ross State University. There I was taught how to compile a writing profile. Every English professor required one for their class. In my advanced English 101 class, my professor noticed my talent and told me I should pursue a writing career. She urged me to keep writing and to take as many English classes as I wanted. I eventually accumulated enough hours to have English as my major but never sought the degree. Instead I graduated with a degree in Theatre Arts and a minor in Anthropology. Yet I never lost my passion for writing.
My professional writing career began three years ago when my husband and I moved from Texas to Kentucky. I felt the urge to write a story. I spent the entire summer researching and writing Calico. My story was over 500 pages long. At the advice of a publisher, I split Calico into several different stories that eventually lead me to a complete series of 11 books. I named the series Children of the Shawnee. Children of the Shawnee, follows twin sisters, Calico and Rose Turner before, during, and after the American Revolutionary War. The second edition of Calico was Little Acorns Publishing House in April of 2012.
The Executive Director of the Kentucky Young Writers Connection, a non-profit agency of writers who promote young authors throughout the state of Kentucky. Allison originally hails from Marion, Ohio. Her father, Roland Irving Bruning, was the son of German immigrants who came to the United States at the turn of the 20th century. Her mother's family had been in the United States since the 17th century. Allison is a member of the Peter Foree Chapter of the Daughters of American Revolution. Her linage traces to Private Reuben Messenger of Connecticut. Her educational background includes a BA in Theater Arts with a minor in Anthropology and a Texas Elementary Teaching certificate. Both acquired at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. Allison received National Honor Society memberships in both Theater Arts and Communication. Allison was also honored her sophomore year with admission into the All American Scholars register. She holds graduate hours in Cultural Anthropology and Education. In 2007 she was named Who's Who Among America's Educators. She is also the recipient of the Girl Scout Silver and Gold Awards.
Allison lives with her husband in Kentucky. Calico is book one from the series, Children of the Shawnee. It is available at http://amzn.to/JSNRpm. She is currently working on the sequel, Rose. She is also working on another series, The Secret Heritage, which traces the life of her great great grandmother at the turn of the 20th century in Ohio. Allison's interest includes Ohio Valley history, anthropology, travel, culture, history, camping, hiking, backpacking, spending time with her family and genealogy. Her genres include historical fiction, paranormal, romance, and suspense.
You can reach her at:
Facebook Fan Page http://on.fb.me/plvkxJ
And check my entry on the Virtual Blog Tour. This week, I'm hosted by Raymond Frazee on Wide Awake But Dreaming.