As every student knows, there are many others who came before to blaze a path for that student's academic career. This is absolutely the case for me, as well. Many people have contributed to my ability to reap the benefits of the Writing Popular Fiction program at Seton Hill. While so many of them are close friends, mentors and family members, there are also those whom I've never met who played a major role in my career and scholarly passion. Three of those people are Margaret Callaghan, Julia Quinn and Johannes Gutenberg.
If I were able to invite these three to dinner, we'd have much to discuss. First and foremost, I would thank them each for their individual contributions to my academic career path.
Margaret Callaghan was the author of the first romance book I fell in love with. It was titled Substitute Husband. I read this book when I was 16 years old, working part time at a nursing home. Before this time, I never knew the world of pure romance novels existed. These books became an obsession for me, and since then, I've devoured thousands of them.
After college, when I was looking at graduate schools and came across Seton Hill University's program in Writing Popular Fiction (WPF), I was thrilled to see that I could specialize in romance fiction. It seemed almost too good to be true that I could get a master's degree focused on the genre I loved. If it had not been for that one book by Callaghan, I would not have been able to connect with the program that encourages my love of and practice in the romance genre.
Julia Quinn serves a similar role as Margaret Callaghan does. Currently, Quinn is my favorite author. I've read almost all of her books (her current book, What Happens in London, is on my reading pile). She writes Regency romance with humor and wit, and I am aspiring to make my current work as intelligent and amusing as hers. My dream is to one day be printed by her publisher, Avon. I would enjoy telling her about the WPF program and my goals for it, and then hearing her thoughts about the program and my career.
Finally, before I could even thank Margaret Callaghan or Julia Quinn, I would need to thank the third dinner guest, Johannes Gutenberg. Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1440. Because of him, the publishing industry is what it is today. All writers owe him for our modern ability to mass produce books.
I would like Gutenberg to see what his invention had done, how it has affected everyone in the world. From the mass production of the Bible, to the rapid distribution of category romance novels, people the world over have benefited from the ability to quickly acquire printed text.
These three people have shaped the way my world revolves around the printed word. Gutenberg has given me the printed word, Callaghan introduced me to a loved genre and Quinn created a type of writing that I would love to emulate. To be able to thank them and share with them about my academic plans would be the gift of a lifetime. No, wait. They've already given me the gift of a lifetime – and I will use it in the Writing Popular Fiction program at Seton Hill.