I never expected to be writing a blog post like this. I never expected to be sitting here grinning at my computer screen.
I read a lot as a child but lost interest as a teenager. However, I got caught up in the Shades of Grey phenomenon and reignited the passion for the written word that had lain dormant since then.
I read book after book, amassing a count of 200 books read within 8 months. I’ve always been the sort of person that, when reading a good book, can’t put it down. Even if I come to the end of the chapter, I still need to continue to the end of the book. This often leads to me lying on the sofa at 4am, nose deep in my Kindle (which is only bested by my Mac in my list of favourite possessions), even though I need to be up at 6.
What I found though, whilst reading all these books, was that even when I enjoyed the book immensely, I always thought to myself “that’s not how I would have done it” or “I wish this or that had happened.”
This lead me to start writing my own story. I used to have a job where I worked 36 hour shifts with very few hours of sleep. The job was not work-intensive so I found myself with many hours of emptiness which needed to be filled. To entertain myself, I would make up stories about Jamie-Lea.
Jamie-Lea was my imaginary friend as a child. I’m fairly certain her name stems from the fact that I lived on Dairylea cream cheese when I was young. I also always wanted older brothers, not sure why. Although I doubt I ever wanted brothers like Jamie has. (I have a younger brother who I wouldn’t change for the world.)
Writing the book was an awesome experience. It never went as I planned. The chapters I had imagined never came to fruition because when I wrote the words, they were never true to the characters. I found that I had to be vague in my planning because often I would find my fingers moving seemingly of their own accord over the keyboard and writing things I hadn’t even thought of before they appeared on the screen.
I wrote the book simply for my own enjoyment. I never expected to publish it. I got so much out of watching my characters become real. That was all I needed. I honestly dream about the characters as if they were real people.
A few people very close to me read the story and I was amazed that they actually enjoyed it. Granted my mum is bound to be biased; she liked the misshapen pottery I used to bring home and claimed they were works of art.
In the end, I figured I’d put it up there and see what happened. I decided that if just one person gave it five stars and enjoyed it, I would be happy. And I am. More than I can say with simple words. The first five star review made me squeal with happiness and float on air the entire day. The reviewer had understood the characters exactly as they were in my head. I am eternally grateful to each and every person that reads my book, whether they like it or not.
Writing is something incredibly personal to me. It feels like I’m exposing my soul for all to see but I’m still glad it’s out there. Whether my book reaches 10 people or 100, I will still be appreciative of each and every reader who took the time to read a part of me.
If anyone has any questions about the book, characters, or what is to come, I’d be more than happy to answer.