I knew I first wanted to be a writer when I was eleven. I’d just read Terry Pratchett’s Wyrd Sisters and in it, I discovered how language can be playful, satirical and be more than what appears on the surface.
I realised that stories set in entirely different time and place can say something hard and sharp and real about the world we live in.
I saw how old stories, which have resonated so deeply—myths, fairytales, the archetypes Shakespeare borrows so powerfully—can be shaped and made anew.
Image: Wyrd Sisters by Terry Prachett
None of this I could speak about, or fully understand, at the time. That came later, when I had a language to talk about books. All I knew then was that this tattered, second-hand book was something magic, something really cool. And I’d never been cool in my life. Probably liking Terry Prachett and hiding out in the library was the wrong way of going about being cool. But I stopped caring about that a long time ago, and if I could go back to my young self, sitting in the window seat of a holiday home, gripping the copy of Wyrd Sisters dug out of a box and bought with all my pocket money, and looking out at the grey sky and gritty beach, I’d say to her, ‘Hold onto this moment tighter, because you’re going to be ok.’
I’d say to her too, ‘This is not about the book you hold in your hand, the name on the cover, but the moment of connection you had with it, when you forgot everything, and you went somewhere else, and you couldn’t see the author or the tricks, but you trusted them still, to take you somewhere new and transform you.’
So, eighteen years, a PhD, eight (give or take) relationships later, my first novel is coming out. It’s been so worth it, my own journey of many transformations. And you’re welcome to come celebrate the journey with me: https://www.facebook.com/events/236066903452162/