My farmer father used to receive a monthly magazine called, appropriately enough, the New Zealand Farmer. They had a children’s page, hosted by someone called Skipper. There were stories, poems, drawings and jokes, sent in by children all over rural New Zealand. Every month I’d read the pages, and soon I started sending in stories of my own.
If an item was published I received points, which I could save up and eventually exchange for money orders. They also had contests around the holidays. I remember one particular year the contest was an essay about where you’d like to spend the summer holidays.
Simple. I wrote my story about soaring into outer space and going on holiday to Mars. An action-packed holiday for sure. I was very excited to win second prize. The first prize winner wanted to spend their holidays in Queenstown, New Zealand. A bit boring, I thought. Yes, it’s true! I got in on the sci-fi/paranormal phase much earlier than everyone else.
Just as an aside – they changed the wording of their contest for the kids who lived in towns. They had to write an essay about Where in New Zealand they’d like to spend their holidays.
The New Zealand Herald also had similar children’s pages during the summer holidays, and I did very well getting several stories and poems published. The monetary rewards didn’t hurt much either.
I continued to devour books, haunting the library of our nearest town and reading a mixture of genres.
When I neared the end of my school days, I decided I wanted to be a vet. (Dr. Dolittle’s influence) After a little more research I decided, regretfully, that the training was long and expensive plus I wasn’t too good with blood.
For a while I toyed with the idea of training to be a primary school teacher like my mother. I even went to an interview, but they didn’t think I had the right material. I wasn’t old enough and needed a little life experience behind me. In hindsight I would have kicked butt as a teacher, but I’m glad I was turned down.
I ended up working in a bank for two years before returning to “school” to train as an accountant…a light year away from writing.
A boring number-cruncher. Oh, dear. Is there hope for this budding author?
Shelley Munro is tall and curvaceous with blue eyes and a smile that turns masculine heads everywhere she goes. She’s a university tutor and an explorer/treasure hunter during her vacations. Skilled with weapons and combat, she is currently in talks with a producer about a television series based on her world adventures. Shelley is also a writer blessed with a VERY vivid imagination and lives with her very own hero in New Zealand. She writes mainly erotic romance in the contemporary, paranormal and historical genres for publishers Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave and Samhain Publishing. You can learn more about Shelley and her books at http://www.shelleymunro.com and you might even find her lurking at Facebook http://www.facebook.com/shelleymunro or Twitter http://www.twitter.com/shelleymunro