As you might have guessed, Cathi is the inspiration for a lot of my characters. She's the idea behind the heroine who has an artsy professional job in New York and dyes her hair pink, the heroine who settles down a lot later than everyone else because she's not through traveling, the heroine who comes from multiple broken homes and blended families and seems to emerge from it all okay. But she's also the inspiration behind my nascent writing career. In junior high we found we were kindred spirits fascinated by stories. We would stay up until the wee hours on weekends, drinking Coke, taking turns jumping on the mini-trampoline in my room, and talking out how we would re-write Lois Duncan YA romantic suspense novels starring the real boys we had crushes on. I think it was during those marathon sessions that I first got the sense that the majority of writing a novel is "setting it up"--certain things need to go a certain way for other things to fall into place. And I first got the sense that this was something I could do. In other words, that's when I became a writer.
How about you? Do you have early influences who made you the writer you are today?