In January 2013 I sat down and started to write a story. The idea had been around for a while, percolating in my head, manifesting as pages of written notes, but with no coherent structure as yet. The incident that started it all was based on something that actually happened to me as a kid, so that was kind of cool – at least no one else would be writing about the same thing.
Why hadn’t I started writing earlier? I couldn’t say, really, although I am a firm believer in the fact that things do not come to us until we are ready. Plus I was moving countries (from Australia to England) and had a young child – yeah, that could have had something to do with it as well. But then I found myself settled in a new home with the gorgeous child at school and, all at once, it was time. I had an idea of a wood and a Gate made of trees leading to another world. I had a daily walk taking me through country lanes that changed with the seasons, green to gold to brown, hedges heavy with blackberries, sloe and rosehips, pheasants walking across icy fields. So one day, when the snow was thick and the trees frosted white like a Christmas card, I sat down and began. At the beginning. And I’m still going. Fifteen months and 300,000 words later, my idea has expanded into several books and Ambeth, the land I dreamt through the trees, is coming to life.
So this is the story of my journey – things that have happened, things that are happening, things that I hope will happen. The occasional digression and random thought. Discoveries I’ve made as a writer, the pain of rejection and the eternal hope (or delusion) that one day, somewhere, these books will be published.