Michelle Bowles asked Sally “What inspired you to become a writer?”

Sally Wiener Grotta by Daniel GrottaIn an interview for her blog What is that Book About, Michelle Bowles asked Sally, “You have a very distinguished writing portfolio, what inspired you to become a writer?”

Here’s Sally’s answer:

“I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love stories – both listening and creating. I wouldn’t go to bed unless my mother told me a story first. Often, I would fall asleep in the middle, and continue the tale in my dreams.

“When I was about 12 years old, my older sister gave me a notebook and told me that I should keep all my poems and stories in one place. I filled up that notebook rather quickly, and she bought me another. Over the years, the poetry got better, the stories more intricate and fully developed, and the notebooks piled up though I’m not sure where they are at this point.

“I began writing professionally a couple of decades ago, first in dual bylines with my husband Daniel Grotta (who was very well established as an author, critic and journalist long before we met). Then little by little, on my own. With each article, review, feature, column and book, I honed my skills, thanks to some great editors. But that was all non-fiction. My stories remained within me, chomping to get out, waiting for me to be ready to write them.

“Once I started writing fiction, I couldn’t stop. What inspires me? Questions I have about the human condition. People I have known. Histories I have read, places I have visited, dreams I remember, a future I hope for or dread. In other words, everything is grist for my stories. I absorb all I see, hear and feel, digest it fully, and let it feed me.

“On the days I don’t write, I feel that a part of me has shriveled up and become lost. When I write, I am fully alive and never alone.”

Please click here to read the full interview.

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