I was never able to make up my mind about what I wanted to be when I grew up. As a result, I’ve done quite a few things – been a Russian linguist, a biomedical research scientist, owned a restaurant, you name it. Ironically, having finally grown up, I am now obsessed with writing stories for children and young people.
I’ve always loved reading. Books were a way for me to escape into another world! But, I didn’t always think I would want to be a writer. From time to time I had an idea that I thought would make a good novel. But I never really took it seriously. I always thought being a novelist was something someone else did. As I look back on it now, I see it was like a butterfly in the back of my mind. Always flitting. Always there.
In particular, I never dreamed I’d write stories for children or young people. Then one day, I witnessed someone doing something horrible to some wild geese. It made me angry and I began to ponder why and when children start to loose their wonder of the world and their love of animals. Almost to my own surprise, soon after that I found myself writing a story about a girl detective and some geese.
And then a funny thing happened. I didn’t look for stories. Instead, stories just seemed to find me. It was as if I had opened a floodgate and they all just poured in. Now I have a million stories that are all struggling to get out like caterpillars in a chrysalis, waiting to be transformed. Each one demands that I put pen to paper. Each one demands to see the light. For a long time, I just wrote these stories for me. Now, I see I can share all of them with others.
I moved to Middle England about 10 years ago. The story of The Knight of Kenilworth came to me one day as I walked around Kenilworth Castle. What a fabulous place – full of history and stories and more stories!
I recently finished my first novel in the The Knight of Kenilworth series, called Traitors of Chase Hall. The novel is about a boy growing up in Kenilworth Castle in Elizabethan times. Setting out to avenge the death of his parents, he’s thrown into the religious conflict enveloping England.
So what happens now in the life of a as-yet-unpublished novelist? Well, I can finally update this part. I’ve taken another step, a big step, in that I can say, happily, I now have an agent, Sarah Taylor. I’m still waiting, but now it’s about a publisher. As you read this, some editor somewhere has my manuscript, looking it over. Deciding if they want to take it. I’m truly excited and grateful.
I am presently working on the second novel in the series, The Siege.