Because I often visit middle schools as a writer of novels for young adults, I get asked questions. This is a great privilege. A lot are very interesting, and some recur: “How long did it take you to write the book we read?” “Is this story about you?” “Where did you get the idea?” I do my best to answer in ways that are both candid and interesting — but one question that kept coming up had me stumped, for a while. It was, “How did you get started writing?”
I had to think about that. I’d been a pretty good reader in elementary school, and in high school I got very busy on the school newspaper; but in between those times, something happened. What was it?
Then I remembered. It was Mr. Behr’s class.