You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! On Fridays, the OneFours answer questions about their books, writing processes, life, favorite flavors of ice cream, and more. This week’s question:
When you were 14, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a baseball reporter. I didn’t quite pull that one off.
-Helene Dunbar, THESE GENTLE WOUNDS
I wanted to be Tommy Shaw’s girlfriend (the blond haired guy from the 80’s band, Styx). Thank God that didn’t work out.
-Jaye Robin Brown, NO PLACE TO FALL
I took a break from wanting to be an author to think I should be a doctor. Lesson learned: never go for what you think you *should* be instead of what you want to be.
-AdriAnne Strickland, WORDLESS
I wanted to be a forensic investigator or a homicide detective. Like most balanced fourteen-year-olds, I was obsessed with unsolved murders.
-Michelle Krys, HEXED
I wanted to be an artist, any kind of artist: poet, painter, musician, singer, dancer – I did it all.
-Chris Struyk-Bonn, WHISPER
I wanted to be a journalist. Same thing when I was 15 and 16 and 17, and all the way until my last year of journalism school in college. Then I was all, Errrrrr…never mind.
-Meredith McCardle, THE EIGHTH GUARDIAN
I wanted to be a Doctor, until I discovered the whole cadaver semester of med school. Changed my mind pretty quickly.
-Lisa Maxwell, SWEET UNREST
I wanted to be a paleontologist. I still think dinosaurs are awesome.
-Lori M. Lee, GATES OF THREAD AND STONE
I wanted to be some kind of rich socialite lady in Victorian times. I’m still hoping to pull this off once time travel gets invented.
-Skylar Dorset, THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS
My fantasy was to be an actress. My realistic choice was advertising, which I ended up going to school for and actually working in for several years before realizing that 14-year-old Jess was WRONG.
-Jessica Love, PUSH GIRL
I wanted to be an archeologist specializing in Egyptology, primarily. I did love reading about the history and the excavations, but I think I also just really wanted to be Lara Croft from Tomb Raider.
– Rin Chupeco, THE GIRL FROM THE WELL
I’d just started writing for my school newspaper and I badly wanted to be a travel journalist. Alas “traveling” to the rival high school for a report on mascots did not require a cool multi-pocket khaki vest like those correspondents on TV wore. Le sigh.
-Jen Malone, AT YOUR SERVICE
When I was fourteen I wanted to be a writer. I developed a penchant for fountain pens and small notebooks, the better for jotting down inspired bon mots. Sadly, being left-handed, I smeared the ink across the page so consistently that all those pearls of wisdom were lost.
-Dana Alison Levy, THE MISADVENTURES OF THE FAMILY FLETCHER
I wanted to be a costumed interpreter at a historical museum a la Colonial Williamsburg, wearing petticoats and teaching people how to churn butter. Still do.
– Laura Marx Fitzgerald, UNDER THE EGG
I wanted to be someone that people would notice. I always felt slightly invisible, compared to my gorgeous, and super-popular older sister, and my too-adorable-for-words younger sister, and I wished that I had something special to make people notice me too. I spent all of my time writing short stories and poetry, and dreaming of a day when my words would be recognized all over the world. I also secretly wanted to be a stay-at-home mom when I grew up, but by the time I was 14, I’d convinced myself that I was too unlovable, and I’d never be able to be a mom, because I’d never find someone to love me enough. It took me years to realize that I was selling myself short. Maybe that’s why I so often write about characters who have so much more going for them than they realize.
– Veronica Bartles, TWELVE STEPS
I wanted to find my way into Neverland because growing up just seemed like a stupid idea. That feeling never really went away. I cried on my 21st birthday because it was that final, FINAL step into adulthood.
– Erica Cameron, SING SWEET NIGHTINGALE
By 14 I’d exchanged my dreams of being a veterinarian for the bright lights of Broadway. I wanted to take the stage by storm as a triple threat–singing, acting and dancing. (This dream has never quite died, BTW.)
– Louise Galveston, BY THE GRACE OF TODD
When I was fourteen, I was singularly disinterested in growing up. Though that sounds as if I was sitting calmly on a divan with my legs crossed, cogitating on the matter, but it really looked more like me screaming in an unattractive manner while pelting as hard as I could in the opposite direction.
-Jenn Swann Downey, THE NINJA LIBRARIANS
Wow, I…do not even remember. Fourteen is somewhere between my “First female president” and “Rock journalist” phases; my ambitions were more like “SURVIVE THIS.”
-Dahlia Adler, BEHIND THE SCENES
Fourteen was a tumultuous year. I think I skipped around from stage manager to boxer to tattoo artist.
– Julie Murphy, SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY
I wanted to be the Lady of Shalott, of course. With a side gig naming crayons, house paint, and nail polish colors.
-Sarah Combs, BREAKFAST SERVED ANYTIME
I wanted to be rich and I wanted to be a teacher, so you can see I had a wonderful grasp of oxymorons early on!
– Linda Vigen Phillips, CRAZY
Well, obviously, I didn’t want to grow up. But if I had to, then I wanted to be a children’s book author… with a stint as detective/international spy on the side! Thank you, Nancy Drew and Spy Fox!
-Lauren Magaziner, THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN WITCHES
When I was 14, the guidance counselor gave us personality tests to help match us with career paths–and I thought for sure I’d get English teacher or journalist (as those were the only “book lover” jobs I knew). But what I got was–surprise!–archivist. True, I was attracted to old, crinkly papers, and yes, I did want to get my hands on them. But archivist seemed out of question. Who from my little spot in southwestern Virginia grew up to be an archivist? Short answer: no one. But then, after graduate school, I just sort of stumbled into a job as a museum director in charge of a historical archive–in my hometown, no less. I got my hands (or at least my white cotton gloves) all over old crinkly papers. Lots of fun and dust. That said, what I really wanted was to be a gypsy fortune teller who travels around with the carnival.
– Mary Crockett, DREAM BOY
I wanted to be Johnny Carson. I loved that he got to talk to people and ask funny questions and generally chitchat in a way that really cracked people up. Didn’t seem like it could get better than that!
– Kate Hannigan, CUPCAKE COUSINS
When I was fourteen I wanted to be a child psychologist who specialized in dysfunctional families and overcoming traumatic events. This career goal of mine continued throughout high school and college, where I triple-majored in psychology, sociology, and social services and minored in criminal justice. While I am not a child psychologist today, I use what I learned in my writing, and many of my books/manuscripts feature dysfunctional families and carry the theme of overcoming traumatic events.
-Clara Kensie, RUN TO YOU
I wanted to be an Olympic volleyball player (the next Gabrielle Reece!) and professional cellist (the next Jacqueline du Pré) simultaneously.
– Natalie C. Parker, BEWARE THE WILD
I wanted to be in charge. I didn’t really care of what.
-Skila Brown, CAMINAR
What did you want to be when you were 14? Share in the comments!
|Skila Brown has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She grew up in Kentucky and Tennessee, lived for a bit in Guatemala, and now resides with her family in Indiana. Her debut novel, CAMINAR, is available now from Candlewick Press.|