I suspect the writing bug has been in me since the get-go, probably passed down to me from my grandfather who wrote (and published) The Curious Lobster and my dad who secretly wrote poetry. But it didn't take hold 'til freshamn year in high school when my English teacher, Mr. Wallace, offered us a choice. We could write a book report or a story.
He was the first teacher to take notice of my writing, to encourage me, and I've never forgotten him (I actually still have the first story I wrote for that class and his comments), or Mr. Elliott who let me write a children's story instead of an essay about one, or Mr. Bouchard who said, 'Don't stop writing!'
Because while I may be a lot of other things, I am more than anything else, a writer.