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When did you first start writing? 

I dearly loved books (thought of them as my friends). I suppose I became a writer through years of keeping diaries, and writing letters and short stories—by the mere act of writing. At age four, I dictated my first poem to my mother. While in sixth grade, I penned my first "long" story (77 pages on a yellow-lined tablet). Eager for avenues of expression, I was either writing or playing the piano.