Friday, November 23

I Will Never Forget

This week at Word Wranglers, we're talking about who we're most grateful to in our writing career. I had tons of people I'd like to thank. Suddenly, one name popped into my head. Michael Rogers.

Mr. Rogers isn't a writer. He was my college English professor. He was the man that scoffed when I brought a romance novel to class because I always finished my class assignments early and needed something to do while everyone else was still working. The man who told me I shouldn't waste my time reading such trash.

I'll never forget the day he said those words to me. It was during final exams and we had to write a paper on a poem called  The Teapot. And I remember thinking, This is what he thinks I should be spending my time reading? It was a cute poem. It didn't rhyme. And it didn't hold my interest.

I turned in my paper and listened to him go on and on about trashy novels and how I can't be serious about my choices in reading material. He pissed me off but I sat in class, at his suggestion, and waited for him to grade my paper. I figured maybe he thought it wouldn't take long to give a failing grade. Then he showed my paper to a couple of other professors monitoring the class.

After he gave me my A plus, he said, "I've changed my mind. You can read whatever you want." I just smiled and said thanks, but in the back of my mind I was thinking, "Yeah, like I was waiting for your approval anyway." Then he asked if I'd ever thought about writing. I hadn't, but that little seed implanted itself in my brain. It took me a long time to get serious, but I got there. And I never forgot Mr. Rogers. So even though I may not be writing in a genre he approves of, I would still like to say thank you, Mr. Rogers. You inspired me to write.


  1. Sometimes negative stuff works as well as the opposite. But I have to give Mr. Rogers credit for being willing to change his mind--too many academics have preconceived notions about the romance-women's-fiction genre that are etched in stone.

  2. what a great story, thanks for sharing, Shawn!!

  3. What a very cool story especially that in the end, YOU changed HIS mind. Long live romance and romance writers! :)

  4. Awesome story, Shawn! Love that you stood your ground for what you loved.

  5. Great story! My college experience left me a little afraid to write romance. It was very looked down upon. Until I realized, I LIKE this. Who cares if my professors won't teach the book in a class? It's fun! I caved in for fun. :)