Folio Editor Alexander Clark on Becoming a Writer

Alexander Clark, folio editor and fledgling professional writer, answers the question: what made you want to become a writer?

I made my first book at four by cutting out pictures from National Geographic magazines and pasting them onto folded construction paper.  I scrawled my own crayon subscripts and forced everyone I knew, all dozen people or so, to read it with me. That was my first experience with anything bibliographic.

Twelve years later, Mr. Feldman, one of my high school English teachers, assigned the class Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried.  I’d come off of radiation therapy a couple of years earlier and was still getting chemo.  O’Brien’s taut, harsh descriptions of war and of struggle not to live, but to merely exist, appealed to me greatly.  I read the rest of O’Brien’s work and began writing my own war themed stories.

As with many young enthusiasts, my…

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