Fifteen Firsts: Denise Grover Swank

What was your first car? A Plymouth Cricket, a total piece of junk.

What was the first thing you learned to cook? Wow, tough one. Probably Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. I had to use a stove, so that totally counts, right?

When was your first time on an airplane? The summer between my sixth and seventh grade years. I flew by myself from Minneapolis to Kansas City. I was so excited! 

What was your first paying job? I got my first job when I was fourteen, believe it or not. It was at Wendy's, and I worked there until I was eighteen. 

How old were you when you had your first kiss? Fourteen, and I thought it was completely disgusting. 

What was the first concert you went to see? Man, I'm going to date myself with this one! Shaun Cassidy. 

When/what was your first regrettable hairstyle? You're limiting me to just one??? Probably my long, permed hair with BIG bangs in the late 80's. 

How old were you when you got your first computer? Um... thirty-one?

What was your first big purchase? I got a brand new Ford Escort when I was 19. I was so proud of myselfespecially since I had a car payment. Oh, the stupidity of youth. LOL

What was the first book that made you cry? Probably one of the Little House on the Prairie books, when Mary went blind. I forget which one that was. I was obsessed with those books back when I was in third and fourth grade. 

Where was your first road trip? As a kid, from Missouri to Minnesota -- my grandparents lived there. As a grown-up, from Missouri to Colorado. 

Who was your first best friend? Paula. She lived down the street from me, and we were the only two girls out of about fifteen kids on our street. 

When/where was your first trip abroad? I went to Croatia about twenty years ago. I loved it. 

Who was your first love? Mark. I was sixteen, and he broke my heart.

Who was your first celebrity crush? Easy, see my first concert above. Shaun Cassidy, God help me. ;)

Denise Grover Swank participated in National Novel Writing Month in the fall of 2009, which led her to writing and finishing Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes. The sequel, Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons, was released in June. Denise lives in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. She has six children, two dogs, and an overactive imagination. For more information about Denise and her books, please visit and connect with her on Twitter.