~ It all started with a boy named Will...

 

The Dark is Rising was my book when I was about eleven years old. That mix of Christmas, magic, snow, murderous rooks, time travel, Herne the Hunter... I wanted to be Will Stanton and stand in a circle of Old Ones and save the world from the Dark.

      Writing stories was always my favourite thing at school. When other kids wrote half a page, I'd fill half an exercise book with dark stories of ghosts and vampires and a lot of gore. So when I read Susan Cooper's book series, I was captivated. It was the atmosphere that possessed me - the way she made me shiver with cold as Will trudged through the snow. Made me shiver with fear each time The Rider appeared, as rooks tried to tear apart the tragic figure of the Walker...

      I lived in that world, with those characters, walking with dark forces...   

Trees Reflection in the Water

~Intermission

Then I left school. I went into hairdressing, worked in off-licences, measured elderly ladies for corsetry in an independent department store (two town houses joined by a covered bridge that leaked when it rained and creaked in the wind). I read H.G. Wells' Time Machine in my breaks and waited for something to happen. 

      What happened was other jobs, university, marriage, motherhood. And though the stories never left, they stayed in my head. I never dreamed I could be an author...

~ Once upon a time...

The gift of a Tudor sixpence from my husband changed all that. Just a few grams of grubby silver, so light, I could barely feel it in my palm. The inscription was worn almost flat, the edges abraded and clipped. 

      Who owned this coin? Did they buy bread with it? Watch a play by the then 32 year old Shakespeare? Holding it felt like a bridge to the past. But what if someone could use it to step back into history... 

      And there it was, my first novel idea. It was YA, timeslip... and shelved after a while. But then came another novel idea and another, a whole world of stories triggered by a few grams of dirty silver. 

      And here I am again, filling pages and pages with dark stories, running with dark forces... 

      Still wanting to be Will Stanton.

     

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