My own writing career never kindled. But the first chapter of a novel I was writing impressed my writing professor so much that he recommended (in front of the class) I send it to his editor at Viking. The editor sent a nice note saying that, while he found the writing "exciting", writers writing about writers "set [his] teeth on edge." I lost heart (for this and other reasons) and never finished the novel. But these days I think of Ben Mears, Jack Torrance, Bill Denbrough, Jim Gardner, Thad Beaumont, Paul Sheldon, Mike Noonan, Mort Rainey - and I just smile.