What I read as a young adult

Neither of my parents went to college and were not particularly good readers, but my mother bought me a “good book” each Christmas, asking the advice of a friendly bookseller, and introducing me to L.M. Montgomery (I loved Anne of Green Gables), William Faulkner, Scott Fitzgerald, Pearl Buck, and Anna Morrow Lindbergh. I stumbled on the novel Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly when I was 17 and thought it a marvel. At Miami University which I attended as an undergraduate, I fell in love with a full cannon of stories and authors, particularly Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy and The Rainbow by D.H. Lawrence. I began to see in these English writers the rhythms of prose, the power of narrative, and was ready to write in the creative writing class of William Havighurst who would later be the professor who suggested I try to write “children’s books.”