The answer is just as easy as the question.
Because it's who I am and what I'm meant to do; which isn't to say I couldn't or don't like to do other things, but this one thing drives me. And I'm not talking about punching keys—though that's very enjoyable, especially when you get a good rhythm going—or jotting down words on w/e bits of w/e happen to be close enough to grab.
I'm talking about storytelling.
Its always fascinated me. It's sad to say, but I'm almost positive kids don't use much of their imaginations today. When I was a kid though, action figures were BIG! All the shows promoted them and you had to have them. You know the ones...
But even before that, when all I had was Army Men, I made up stories. It's odd, even now thinking about it, I realize how complicated those quick stories in the dirt were. It was never simply just Tan vs Green. There was drama, sabotage and many of the little guys had names. Sooner or later though, a lighter, Black Cats or M80's got tossed into the mix—war's hell ya know. Though by then someone in my family found me: I think that's why plastic smells when it's burning, 'cause you know they could've made it odorless.
So I'd play with my toys; devise elaborate stories, play out what I'd seen in cartoons or read in comics. I think I did this off and on sometime into middle-school or maybe my freshmen year in high-school. Either way, it was about then when I got the best present EVER: Super Nintendo. Boom! Shortly there after, I got into RPGs. Now, of all the video games I've ever played, RPGs hooked me. I could actually control characters and make them do the awesome things I'd been imagining!
It was amazing! However, as awesome as those visuals were in those great games that still hold fond memories for me...
...My imagination couldn't be shut out and eventually came roaring back.
Reading (sorry, this is going back in time a little)
I wasn't always a reader.
In elementary-school, maybe nearing middle-school age, I remember buying books at the book fair, but only because Batman or Superman were on the cover. Those were the Choose Your Own Adventure books. Not sure if I ever finished those. Honestly, the first book I ever finished was part of the Worlds of Power series and only because of a video game my friend had that I LOVED: Mega Man 2—I wouldn't own a system of my own till much later.
Anyway, after Mega Man, I picked up the second book I ever read: Dracula. It was awesome, but I have to admit, even though I knew the name, I picked it up cause of the fantastic dark cover. It was the one where Dracula's sitting on a throne and there's a wolf next to him, I think? Couldn't find it, but maybe someone will find it for me so I can then update this post?
Thinking about it now, aside from comics, I kinda only read thereafter when I needed to for school.
But later in high-school, just when my love for reading suddenly turned on a dime—following me ever since—about the time I devoured the Red Wall Series http://www.redwallabbey.com/, I stumbled into a group of new friends.
From that mix of new minds, a powerful thing was born...
I wonder how many Fantasy/Science Fiction writers ever Role Played some Pen and Paper Game?
Maybe someday I'll know. Hell, maybe some day I'll get to play with some of my fans and/or favorite authors.
Naturally, I quickly became the DUNGEON MASTER. I loved it.
Over the years, we upgraded from simple stories and characters, to great, huge adventures; one which took about 3+ years to play out.
Yes, that adventure was fueled by the Grand Daddy of all RPGs:
As in all things, the better I got, the more new people wanted to play, the more I heard how much fun everyone was having—even if I killed their characters. I have to admit, sometimes it was a lot of fun doing it.
Eventually, I was spending many hours a week (high-school through college; at work or when doing other things which should've required my full attention) thinking up plots and characters and all the rest. I filled notebooks of information on characters, setting, worlds, history, weapons, and on and on...
Finally, one day, when I realized how much of everything I was creating on my own, that was it.
I was done. I knew then I had to find some way to combine my love of history/reading/storytelling into something I could do for the rest of my life.
Some years later, I'm now a published author at http://www.downwarden.com/blackbedsheet/
There you have it.