Wilma Lee is an American-born author from Philadelphia, PA. Now nearing 30 years old. Wilma spends most of her time in her study. The study walls are lined with bookshelves– thousands of them — representing every book she has ever read. A large, brown leather chair is placed in the center of the room in front of a thick, wood coffee table.
This is Wilma’s solace– her escape and his existence. A laptop is on the coffee table facing the chair. When Wilma isn’t sitting in her chair reading, adding more books to her already impressive collection, she is bent over his knees typing hard and fast onto her keyboard. The sounds of the room are the clicking of her fingers and focused chews of the gum in Wilma’s mouth. A whiteboard is behind the table facing her, as well. It is the outline of her next book. She is surgical in his craft.
She wouldn’t have it any other way.
A Philadelphia native, Wilma was raised by a single father. Her mother passed from cancer when she was five years old. To make a comfortable life for his daughter, Wilma’s father worked long hours, leaving Wilma in many after school activities and day cares. As soon as Wilma learned to read, he didn’t stop. It filled her loneliness and passed the day, allowing her to escape to other worlds and interact with strange, and wonderful people. The world around her become one of possibilities, accessible through words on a page. So, she started to write.
Her father was overjoyed at his son’s enthusiasm and bought his son spiral notebooks in excess. Wilma filled the pages. By her 16th birthday, Wilma had already been published 10 times. He received her first payment as a writer with her 11th published work: a flash fiction story about a boy lost in the woods, miles from home, surrounded by wolves. She received a check for $5.00 and was elated.
At 17, Wilma was an intern for her local paper. Although she did not enjoy that she could not choose her own topics, she looks back at that time as one of the most important learning experiences of her writing life. The internship gave her deadlines and responsibility. It challenged her to move out of her comfort-zone, taking an assignment and making it her own, while also sticking to the required subject matter. However, beyond the structure she gained from writing articles for the local paper, she was in an environment of other writers, and with that, came feedback– constant feedback.
A writer, far advanced beyond her years, Wilma finished her first novel at 19 years old. It was published two years later. Wilma and her father celebrated with a home cooked meal: steak, light beer, mashed potatoes and green beans. It would be the first of many celebratory dinners.
To date, Wilma has written 13 published novels, the subject matter both fiction, and non-fiction, including self help, fitness, and philosophy books. Her only goal now, is to be a book in someones study. Sitting on a shelf, read in full, enjoyed, and ever-lasting, among the other authors of his time, before her time, and those that come after her.