Becoming A Writer

Second of the Minotaur Moments in Crime blogs, published a month ago.

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Excuse me, according to no less an authority than the bellhop at the Vintage Hotel in Portland, Oregon, whose acquaintance I made in the elevator during my first book tour, if you are published, you’re not a writer, you’re an author. Okay. “Becoming an author.”

New York Times logoWhen I graduated from high school I thought I was going to be a journalist. I figured ten years, fifteen, tops, to managing editor of the New York Times. The strongest motivating factor was that I was sure I’d get free tickets to Broadway openings.

uaf logoUnfortunately, by the time I got my BA in journalism from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, I knew I had no ability to ask the hard question. So, not journalism, then. What? Well, how about I screw around for as long as humanly possible working at a salmon cannery, on the TransAlaska Pipeline and on the North Slope? Okay.

bp-logoI was having a pretty good time, working for BP and making what at the time was a hell of a lot of money, falling in love and discovering the illicit joys of nude bathing in Hawaii, when fate intervened in the form of a car wreck in which I almost died. This got my attention.

uaa logoI went back to school, got my MFA, and practiced writing until I wrote a novel that was publishable.

Piece of cake.

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