Paul Greci




 

How I started writing Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction


I taught English in an alternative high school for fifteen years and thanks to my students, I started writing. When I’d read them a short story or a whole novel (yeah, I read whole novels out loud to my class), we’d stop at certain points and they’d write scenes using characters from the story. My students were having so much fun doing this that I wanted to get in on it, so I started writing scenes, too. Soon I started writing my own stories and was writing before school, after school and on the weekends, and all summer long. My head was spinning with so many stories that I left my teaching job so I could write full-time. I was a full-time writer for four years. Today I teach part-time and write part-time.
              
That's me during Spring Break-up.           

 
Cascade Glacier in Prince William Sound



Denali--the highest mountain in North America


                  
Sandhill Cranes at Creamers Refuge

Where I live

 
I live in Fairbanks, Alaska. Alaska, you say? How did a boy from Indiana end up in the far north? Between semesters in college I went to Alaska to work in the salmon canneries. I worked on the slime line fifteen hours a day scraping blood and guts from dead fish. But no, that’s not why I moved to Alaska, not because of a love for fish guts. Instead, it was the open, wild space  all around me.

Free flowing rivers.

Tide water glaciers.

And the wildlife.

I’d been bitten by the Alaska-bug, not to be mistaken for the mosquito—that’s our state bird.


                         

Caribou on the Delta River

                                                     

Moose in my backyard



                                            

Bald Eagle in Prince William Sound


Getting around in Alaska

Only a small percentage of Alaska is accessible by road. Fortunately, I've been able to travel by plane, boat and helicopter to some of the remote corners of my home state because I worked on a couple of Wildlife Refuges. Below are some photos I took of those places.


Sun set on the Bering Sea Coast on Togiak National Wildlife Refuge.



The ice-locked Beaufort Sea Coast on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.



Peters Lake in the Brooks Range in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.


Exploring by kayak

Prince William Sound


                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

The above four photos are all from Prince William Sound, a wilderness of mountainous islands and rugged coastline where I have paddled a kayak many hundreds of miles in my life over the last twenty years. My first kayak trip was a nine week five-hundred mile adventure with a friend. I returned to the Sound the following summer for a three week two-hundred mile solo trip. Below is a picture of one of my solo camps. Every summer I try to make it to Prince William Sound.



River Travel

Every summer I also try to spend time paddling on a few of the rivers that flow in Interior Alaska.


Above is my wife, Dana on a bluff overlooking the Tanana River. Below is one of our camps.

 



All of the wilderness experiences, plus the many encounters with animals just outside my front door, continue to inspire my writing.
                               
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Paul Greci,  Fairbanks, Alaska
paulgreci(at)yahoo(dot)com