I wanted to write when I was eight – I think I was drawn by all that action on those big cinema screens and the fact that it went into place because somebody made up something – Have to admit, I didn’t much like the movies we got back then, most lacked depth, realism just wasn’t, and some things were just plain stupid – I didn’t know the whys of it all at eight years old, but I did begin the process of imagining different endings and even different plots.
By the time I was twelve, I realized that I really did want to write and that – on the whole – actual writing would be involved. That meant I had to get going and actually do something. Movies would have been a choice, but was thoroughly out of my reach. I was only one person and I was a gazillion miles from the “right” circles (where people know people who know people), and who would buy me a camera anyhow? Writing a book, however, was a one-person activity. I could also think for myself and all I needed was paper and a pen, which I could get out of my own pocket money.
The What was easy. Getting into science fiction was a natural. Star Trek was on TV at the time and I used to sneak out of bed and hide in the hallway until it came on because I wasn’t allowed to sit up and watch it. I could see the TV from the hallway.
Science fiction was where the excitement was. Spaceships and colonization, aliens and oddities of flora and fauna – the sheer SIZE of the galaxy and the wonders of “light-years”. Everything about astronomy was a delight – I got my first telescope at age 13 and still have it (plus a much larger one).