One childhood story captures my early interest in writing. At the age of eight, I created a short story collection called The Devil and Other Stories. When I finished, I thought it necessary to have it published. One day, after school, I walked to the local newspaper, asked to see the publisher, and delivered my first unsolicited manuscript.

The amused publisher wrote about the unusual submission in his weekly column, which, combined with the gentle rejection, provided an early lesson in the risks and rewards of being a writer.