I often get asked the same question in interviews; did you always know that you wanted to be a writer, or have you always written? The answer I always give is, yes, I did always want to write and have been doing so for a very long time. When I was at school I used to write lots of short stories and poems, and my school report cards repeatedly talked about how creative I was and how I never lacked imagination (although most of my teachers thought I should actually pay more attention to my academic subjects and put the stories away!), but I can never really remember much about what I actually wrote at the time.
In the last few months I have been reorganising my office, unpacking some very old boxes from moving house a few years ago. In one of the boxes I stumbled across something that I haven’t seen for about twenty years.
I had completely forgotten that around the age of Eleven/Twelve years old, I sat down and wrote my first “book”; The French Mystery by Christina Curtis. It was what I recently rediscovered. I had a read of it (all 70 handwritten pages of A4!). Not only had I written a full story, I had also given it a title and created a cover for it (out of felt-tip pens, cut up paper and cardboard), given drawn pictures to go inside it.
If I had to describe it, I would say that The French Mystery is an archaeological suspense. It’s about me and a handful of my school friends, who go camping on the old Roman hill fort that was in our village. Whilst camping on the old hill fort we discover that a group of French thieves are illegally digging on the site and hunting for artefacts. Imagine an archaeological version of the Famous Five if you will. Having re-read it thirty years on, I’m actually quite surprised at the well thought out storyline, and realise now that after spending decades searching for my niche/genre, it had been there all along and I had just forgotten about it.
Thankfully, I eventually found my way back to my niche – historical suspense – and I’m still writing, and have now released five books. It’s been very interesting finding The French Mystery buried at the bottom of a box and seeing where it all started; the place where my writing journey really began, and at such a young age too. I am also glad that it survived three decades, several moves across the country and never got thrown out. It would have been a shame if I had lost it. Not only has it reaffirmed that I am doing what I was meant to do, but it was also fun reading all about my old village, the old Roman Hill fort and my old school friends.
Dreams can stay with us a long time, sometimes decades, never give up, as you never know what may happen in the future!
- Have you ever discovered something years later, that reaffirmed that you were on the right path in life?
Chrissie is an author who loves history and enjoys travelling and days out exploring. www.chrissieparker.com