Today Tricia L. Sanders, author of Flea Market Felony, the latest book in the Mattie & Mo Mystery series, is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about discovering her passion for writing.
Welcome, Tricia. I’ll turn the floor over to you:
My fourth grade teacher helped me discover my passion for writing. Our assignment was due at the end of the week, and we were asked to write a story about something impossible. I remember stressing—if one can stress at the age of 9—about what would be impossible. As the week lurched toward Friday, I remember starting and stopping numerous story ideas. The trashcan next to my mom’s desk, where I discarded the various story starts, filled to overflowing with crumpled sheets of notebook paper. We didn’t have computers back then, nor could my family afford a typewriter—not that I knew how to use one anyway.
I must have sharpened a dozen pencils to the nub which was quite a task given we didn’t have a pencil sharpener. The task was completed with my mother’s paring knife over the kitchen wastebasket, shaving the wood away from the lead much like we peeled carrots. Mom, having given up trying to help me, stood over my shoulder reminding me to be careful and not cut off a finger.
It was on one of my trips between the kitchen and the living room where I overheard an advertisement on the radio about Christmas and how it only comes once a year that the idea for my story took root. What if Santa came in July when no one was expecting him? What if he snuck in, and I was the only one who saw him? What if he let me pet a reindeer, took me for a ride in his sleigh, then swore me to secrecy?
I ran to the desk, tore a fresh sheet of paper from my notebook, and the story sprang to life. Christmas in July flowed onto the page. The next morning when I handed in the pages, I beamed. My teacher was so pleased with my effort, she entered my story into a contest our local newspaper was sponsoring. It won first place and was published in the newspaper.
My writing endeavors soon graduated to re-writing the endings of the Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden books I read. I rewrote the ad copy on cereal boxes as I ate my breakfast, created a newspaper for my dolls. I was the editor and writer and created news stories about each one of the dolls—complete with a gossip column. My teen years found me writing angsty poetry and brooding songs.
Later in life I wrote training material and developed curriculum for my employer, never as satisfying as the made-up stories. It wasn’t until I took an early retirement that I finally returned to my love of writing fiction. Thirty-nine years after that first story I wrote and published my first novel—on a laptop this time.
Thanks for visiting and sharing how your love for writing developed, Tricia. Good luck with Flea Market Felony, the latest book in theMattie & Mo mystery series.
The novel is available at the following online retailers:
About Tricia L. Sanders: Tricia L. Sanders lives in the Austin, Texas area and writes about women with class, sass, and a touch of kickass. A former instructional designer and corporate trainer, she traded in curriculum writing for novel writing, because she hates bullet points and loves to make stuff up. And fiction is more fun than training guides and lesson plans.
When she isn’t writing, Tricia is busy crossing dreams off her bucket list. With all 50 states checked, she’s concentrating on foreign interests. She’s an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, so don’t get between her and the television when a game is on. Currently, she is working on a mystery series set in the fictional town of Wickford, Missouri. Another project in the works is a women’s fiction road trip adventure.
Her essays have appeared in Sasee, ByLine, The Cuivre River Anthology, and Great American Outhouse Stories; The Whole Truth and Nothing Butt. She is a proud member of The Lit Ladies, six women writing their truths into fiction.