It is my great delight to host Paddy Eger today. She was a student of mine years ago with a powerful historical fiction manuscript. I knew her words would find their way into print. Read on for more of her story!
How the Writing Bug Grabbed Me
If you’d told me fifteen years ago that I’d become a writer, I’d have laughed. But now writing is an important part of my days, weeks, months and years.
My writing years began in two different places, several years apart. Lauraine Snelling, a Christian writer and friend of mine since we were seven years old, suggested I attend her week-long writing workshop. I had danced as a teen so the idea for a story about a young dancer felt doable. The ‘hook was set’! Over the next years, that tiny seed of an idea grew into a trilogy because of the writing tools Lauraine shared with me and the others in the group. Many of us remain writing colleagues; most continue to write on a daily basis. I think we became addicted to writing!
My second influencer is Kirby. She invited me to join a writing critique group she led. That’s where I met a dedicated handful of Young Adult writers who still provide support and a safe haven for my writing. It wasn’t enough to sit down and write; Kirby showed us that authors need continuous practice, constructive feedback and encouragement. (Sometimes we need a friendly hint that our seed of an idea is ill-conceived and that we should move on!)
As a former primary teacher, I’ve carried my organizational skills into my writing life. I write every day, use a flexible outline or a web for planning and arranging my ideas and research for details to help my story come to life. I appreciate the chance to work with others on ‘getting it right’.
I didn’t set out to write a ballet-themed trilogy. But, as I got into my story, the ideas and cast of characters grew, overlapped and demanded to be heard. Marta’s first year of dancing professionally needed tension and conflict. Those situations in book one, 84 Ribbons, led to book two, When the Music Stops-Dance On, where she has a chance to resolve her issues. But, something else happened. Her best friend Lynne kept popping up, demanding her story be shared as well. That led to Letters to Follow-A Dancer’s Adventure where most of the lives get straightened out once and for all.
I appreciate the on-going support I’ve received over my brief writing career. Without fellow writers taking their time to support me, I’d have never written so many stories and remain encouraged to continue to create other characters that want their stories told. Writing is an exciting and challenging experience that I appreciate as an important and daily part of my life.
Paddy’s writing focus remains YA novels. Her debut novel, 84 Ribbons, won the bronze Moonbeam award and was featured in the spring issue of Foreword Reviews, Fore Sight. Book two in the ballet trilogy, When the Music Stops-Dance On, is now available. Reading and travel provide inspiration and story ideas to fill several lifetimes.
Paddy also writes educational books and materials to encourage classroom volunteers, assists in classrooms as a volunteer, and provides volunteer training. Contact Paddy, read book excerpts and find her writing and educational blogs by visiting her website www.paddyeger.com