Ever since being a kid, English was always my favourite subject at school.
The only homework I ever enjoyed was being given the first line of an essay and then having to write a story off the back of it. Alas, my teacher always put a 500 word limit on essays – a number I found nearly impossible to stick to.
Based on my passion for English, I was always reading when not doing homework and I came to the conclusion that I should have a go at writing a novel. It was 1982 and I was 18 years old. I grabbed a stack of lined A4 sheets and began to handwrite a storyline. This was the beginning of what would later become Jewel Agenda. I wrote about 40 sides of A4 and then the project faded.
In 1989 I lost my mother and my priorities shifted radically. I managed to secure a job in Australia and after 18 months in Melbourne, I then moved to Sydney for three years. When I wasn’t working, I was driving and this Australian experience would prove invaluable years later.
Returning to the UK, more years rolled by until 2012 when I lost my father. My work generously gave me a month off and from somewhere I found the A4 sheets I’d handwritten 30 years earlier and transferred them to my laptop. There were 20,000 words. Carrying on from this point, Jewel Agenda became something real. The first three chapters are virtually identical to what I wrote in 1982. The other twenty nine chapters were all written after 2012.
Australia was never intended to be part of the original storyline but following my experiences, it became the focal point of the whole plot. Nearly everywhere quoted are places I’ve visited and fortunately, my English teacher didn’t limit my word count.
So, Jewel Agenda took over 30 years to write and I had already decided it would be the first in a trilogy. The sequel, Jewel Intentions, is available now and took 18 months to write. The final part of the trilogy, Jewel Conclusions, will be available in 2019 and has taken just over 12 months to write.