I was deprived as a child—or so I thought. My parents wouldn’t let me watch much TV and they steadfastly refused to get cable until I was in the 11th grade. No MTV for me! I thought my life was so unfair.
My parents did encourage me to read, and I read from a very early age—probably from sheer boredom. The first “real” book I read was THE BLACK STALLION. I remember reading that book for hours and not even wanting to put it down to eat or watch TV (can you believe it?).
THE BLACK STALLION began a love affair with books for me. Part of the appeal of books was that I could travel to new places and be different people all without ever leaving my room. One day I was Lucy, meeting Asland in Narnia. Another day I was Laura Ingalls listening to wolves howling at night. I traveled all around the world and to different worlds too. I didn’t realize that my TV deprivation was actually a blessing in disguise (and don’t you just hate those blessings in disguises when you’re about 14—but that was when I found Stephen King).
As an author, I’m still traveling. My favorite place to travel is London in the early nineteenth century. I might be sitting at my computer in sweats and a t-shirt, but my heroines are in silk gowns, kid gloves, and wearing diamonds. There’s music, there’s dancing, there’s a roguish hero with a dangerous grin leaning against the doors to the terrace…
That’s better than TV any day! What about you? Did you enjoy traveling through books as a child? What were some of your first forays?