It is said that every person has at least one book in them. I think that is probably true. It is also true that the first time a person writes a book it contains a large part of their own life, for that is the resource they have to draw on when they start to write.
I have always loved books and stories; as soon as I could read I lived in a fantasy world, full of adventures and mysteries, courtesy of Enid Blyton. That great and prolific writer of so many children’s stories has been much maligned as a writer in later times, but the plain fact is that she inspired me to read and I have remained a great reader of so many books since. The fact that I have always read meant that I had a good understanding of the written word and had a stimulated imagination and so I was able to write, even at the age of ten and younger, stories that were full of interest – and correct grammar! What a pity parents don’t have the vision my parents had to help their children love books these days; it would make teachers’ jobs so much easier!
However, I digress. Besides reading I loved writing and always had the desire to write. But life gets in the way and, apart from a few pieces I wrote about my memories of growing up in Norfolk, I never wrote much, limiting my ability to writing long, entertaining letters to my parents and others over the years.
My other great love has always been children. I was young when I knew I wanted to work with them and, because of a very special lady called Dorothy Lewis I was given the chance to follow my dream and work in a children’s home at the age of eighteen. The time I spent working there has stayed with me all these years; I’ve remembered the children I loved and cared for and have always wondered how they were and whether life has been kind to them. Finally, in the year 2011 I decided I wanted to write a story based on my experience of working at the home in the late 1960’s. Like all new authors, I drew on a few of my own life experiences, that of my interview and memories of the home, along with a few other memories such as my life with my parents in a beautiful old farmhouse.
I had intended this story to be a collection of memories about the children and the events that happened while I was there, and to feature one little boy that I was always particularly fond of. But Someone, somewhere, must have had other ideas, for suddenly another story was coming through my fingers; something much more serious than I’d ever intended to write. And I was driven; I can type fast but it wasn’t fast enough! I have been told off by my writing companion for once saying that the story was writing itself and I didn’t really know where it was coming from – of course, he said, it was coming from inside my head, I’d invented it! Well, maybe…but the whole thing was something of a shock to me because it was written in such a short time; I’d expected a book to take a year or so and yet there it was – done!
After ‘Tiger’ came ‘Bell of Warning’, then ‘Rosa’ and ‘Robin’s Ring’ and then ‘The Hiraeth’. Now, ‘Bell’, ‘Rosa’ and ‘Hiraeth’ are published but ‘Tiger’ has remained waiting in the wings; somehow I just couldn’t ‘get it together’ to do the necessary rewriting and editing on it. Why? I’m not sure really. What I do know is that anyone who has read it has liked it; they say it is a page turner.
However, after all this time I have finally done it and with it I have laid a few ‘ghosts’.
I write because I enjoy writing; but that first book “The Sixpenny Tiger” is my ‘baby’, my ‘first-born’ and will probably always be my personal favorite.