There’s not a time I remember when I haven’t loved writing. I love everything about it, forming characters, creating imaginary worlds, telling a good story, writing about things I’ve experienced and those I haven’t. I even love the actual physical experience of putting pen to paper and writing the old fashioned way.
My clearest early childhood memory was when I was seven and went into hospital for open-heart surgery to fix a hole in my heart. It’s not a traumatic memory, far from it, I thought it was a big adventure being away from home in a small ward with a couple of other kids, albeit very poorly kids. Even when I waved goodbye to my mum and dad before the lift doors closed and I was taken down to theatre, I never felt scared. Waking up hours later in intensive care with tubes poking out of me and machines beeping was disorientating but even then I was thankfully too young to take on board the enormity of what I’d been through and have the fears and anxieties that I’d have had as an adult.
After being discharged I had home tuition for a few months until I was well enough to return to school and that’s when I started writing stories. The experience directly relates to why I’m a writer. I’ll never know if I’d have become a writer if I hadn’t needed that operation. All I know is that time in hospital is one of my most vivid memories not just from childhood but from the whole of my life and 27 years on I can still recall the tiniest of details and remember how I felt. An experience like that has got to have shaped my life in some way and I know the time I spent at home afterwards being tutored on my own inspired me to write.
The first novel I wrote was called London’s Burning and was about a couple of friends who ended up going back in time to the Great Fire of London, although I did get muddled up with my history thinking the fire took place in Tudor times instead of 1666 when King Charles II was on the throne. Regardless of the inaccuracies I’m sure the idea of it inspired my children’s novel, Time Shifters, a time travel adventure story that I’ve just finished editing.
I spent a lot of time lost in my imagination when I was growing up. Until I discovered drama at senior school I was quite shy and I think I found it easier escaping into a made-up world. A lot of what I wrote when I was young was set in the past and involved time travel, so perhaps that was another way of avoiding dealing with the real world. Despite being relatively quiet I did start writing short plays around the age of 11 about a horse mad girl called Jessie Jump, which I performed with a younger friend to an audience of my mum, her mum and our long suffering brothers.
So, I’m a writer and have been since I was seven. This blog is going to be all about my writing life, the ups and downs, ideas and influences, inspirations and thoughts, and my hopes and achievements. I hope you will join me.