Who we are is a sum of all our experiences and more importantly, our choices. When I was young, there were many things I thought I would be – a princess, a film director, an actor, a nanotech robotics engineer… I grew up a bit, went to graphic design school and thought I’d work in marketing, then I got a degree and thought maybe I’d be a psychologist… all the while the only thing I actually did consistently was write.
One national novel writing month after another, I kept writing the same story, kept asking myself questions about it and then, after five years, I found that I had a book that I actually quite liked. To my surprise, I discovered other people liked it too and I thought ‘This is it. This is the thing I want to do.’
So then, in my traditional ‘throw caution to the wind and go for it’ way, I quit my job, became an itinerant teacher and took up writing ‘kind of full time’.
Whenever I meet random people I know, which is just about every day (Christchurch is a very small town), they ask me ‘How’s the book going?’ or ‘When is the next one coming out?’ – I smile, saying ‘Next year hopefully…’ while trying to project a sense of certainty that will convince them to keep believing in me.
The truth is I have no idea how long it will take. My last book took five years, but half of that was simply learning how to write and deciding what I really wanted to say. Now I have a world and characters I love and I don’t want to mess it up. My worst nightmare is that I’ve produced a shallow, rushed and formulaic sequel that I’m ashamed to call mine… my characters would kill me!
So for over a year now, I have been developing the world and backstory of Tyria, working nearly every day to make sure that I understand the context – politically and psychologically – of what is about to happen. Where book one was a simple ‘coming of age’ type story, book two is shaping up to be rather more epic. I want to do justice to the promises I made in the first book and give you the best story I can possibly tell. I’m not a perfectionist – book two will definitely happen – but it will happen in its own time.
Thank you all so much for your patience. Your faith is what keeps me going.