Huntley Fitzpatrick: “I passed on the scotch and the smokes, but kept writing.”

Yesterday, somewhat randomly, I ran into an author’s biography at Amazon.com, to which I point you for its style as much as its insight. Her name is Huntley Fitzpatrick. Apparently, she writes young adult fiction — how well or how prominently, I cannot say. I know of her only what I read there.

Here are some excerpts from her Amazon author page, where you should read the whole brief bio, if her charm speaks to you too.

I was lucky enough to be born to parents who read every kind of written material with interest and enthusiasm, and let me do the same. From the start I searched for books that let me fall in love…with the story and with the boy. For most of my childhood I divided my devotion between Almanzo Wilder from The Little House books, C.S. Lewis’ Prince Caspian and Tom in Louisa May Alcott’s An Old Fashioned Girl.

I figured out early that stories were what made sense of the world when it was confusing and made the best moments permanent. I was shy and nearsighted but good at anything that involved reading and imagining, so quickly decided the only logical career to pursue was writing. To this end my father gave me a typewriter (it was a long time ago), a package of Lucky Strike cigarettes, a bottle of Scotch and a note advising me to “Be Bold, Be Bold, Be Bold.” For my tenth birthday.

I passed on the scotch and the smokes, but kept writing. My first completed story involved a family with twenty children who lived by the ocean. The parents were twenty-two. Some things have never changed for me: my love of family, beaches, and my shaky grasp of math.

. . .

In college I majored in Shakespeare with a minor in daydreaming. Sometimes I still wonder what I was thinking of concentrating on Literature instead of say, law, medicine, finance. Then I remember my father who said, “College isn’t a trade school. Learn about what you love and follow that. It will take you everywhere you need to go.” Here’s what I believe: every answer to every deep question can be found in Shakespeare. Or any other writing that speaks to you: Huckleberry Finn, Little Women, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Matilda. Listen to the writing that captures your heart and it will help you find your way, true as a compass. Honest.

. . .

Now I live on the coast of Massachusetts with my six remarkable and eccentric children and encouraging husband, all of whom put up with me holding up my hand traffic-cop-style, saying, “I just have to get this down” and dashing to my computer. . . .¬†We have three cats, a dog who believes he’s a cat, and a ferret.

Read Huntley Fitzpatrick’s Amazon bio here.

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