I can't believe how quickly this year has flown, and continues to fly by. In many ways it has been a landmark year - I received my first ever speeding ticket [who would have thought either me or my car would have been capable of that?] doing 36 in a 30 mph section of road, I moved house after sixteen years of being in one place and I turned fifty. I attended three funerals and spent many hours looking at the past, as one tends to do in these circumstances. I saw my eldest child turn sixteen and leave school for the new boundaries of college and my youngest start her final year of middle school. In short it has been a year of change.
And during all of this, I did what I always do, I wrote books and renovated my house and looked after the kids and dogs. Because it is these things which are the fundamentals of my life, the lynchpins of my sanity.
During this time new people have come into my life and shared their stories with me, as they so often do. Some are tales of horror, of injustices done and cruelties perpetrated, others are uplifting and life-affirming and others are just plain funny. And yes, I won't deny it, some of those stories, either in part or in their entirety, will find their way into my books, of course they will.
At the moment I am coming toward the final part of my current book. This is always hard. I want to race ahead with the story, but doing so will mean saying goodbye to characters I love. But I know they will be safe with you, for you will love them as much as I do.
Soon, Ascension will be released and you will get to meet Jessica Stone, the girl who will change her world. As always happens, she was a character who came to me and told me how dire her need was, how desperate her situation. I couldn't refuse to write it down. And the more I wrote about her - the more I got to know her - I realised how human she was, how beyond all her bravery and her quest for truth and justice, she had flaws just like we all do.
But in the book, there is one character who was moulded from a very real person. Grandma Emily was based upon my own late grandmother, her strange wisdom and her hope. This last year, through all the changes above, it has been my grandmother I have thought of time and time again. And in every moment of doubt I've had, every middle-of-the-night awakening I've had, scared and alone, it's her voice I have heard. How she would have laughed if she'd known what is going on in my life right now. Then again, what's to say she doesn't?
Happy Reading! x