The writing seed was planted inside me one rainy Sunday in 2004, while I was relaxing and reading in my ridiculously-small-rented-room in South-East London. I had been browsing the book section of a Croydon charity shop the day before, and had been instantly grabbed by a beautifully dreary front cover, and a sinister title. The book was called ‘Beneath the Skin’ by Nicci French. I had read the premise, test-read a random page (as I always do after plucking a book from the shelf), and had carried it straight to the till.
That Sunday afternoon I had downed numerous cups of tea – the heat of the liquid had fused with the irresistible chill that the pages were breathing into me. I turned page, after page, after page, until I reached the end. My instant thought upon closing the cover was ‘I wish I had written this book.’ Actually, I might have even whispered it aloud into those four walls.
I had fallen asleep that night with the book, the characters whirling around in my mind. The fear, darkness, reality, and loneliness that the book had aroused in me, had had even more effect in the darkness of the night, under the glow of the moon. I knew I would never forget this book. It had created an itch in my heart.
The following day I had been at work. I had clicked Google in my lunch hour. And in the search bar I clicked ‘How to write a novel’.
My obsession had begun.
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An excerpt from Goodreads;
“When she laughs, she makes a pealing sound, like a doorbell. If I told her I loved her, she would laugh at me like that. She would think I was not serious. That is what women do. They turn what is serious and big into a small thing, a joke. Love is not a joke. It is a matter of life and death. One day, soon, she will understand that.”
Obviously when you opened that book by Nicci French, you opened a new chapter in your life.
All good wishes,
Definitely Eric. It was a great inspirational moment. Best Wishes.
Elmore Leonard did that for me with Freaky Deaky – again a second-hand bargain buy.
I shall now explore your blog that has just found its way to me via Flashbang.
Thanks so much for taking the time to look at my blog, much appreciated. Your blog design is great 🙂
Thank you. I really enjoyed yours, it will need reading in depth, which I look forward to 🙂
Reblogged this on MorgEn Bailey's Writing Blog and commented:
How Donna Henderson became a writer…
Thank you 🙂
Ha, maybe we should start a club of ‘people who became writers after an encounter with Nicci French’. In my case, it was an in-person encounter in 2008 at the Henley Literary Festival with Sean French and Nicci Gerrard. Oh, I’d always written and dreamt of becoming a writer, but it was after hearing them on the panel and chatting to them about Moomins and Scandinavian crime fiction at the book signing that I actually thought: I should become a crime fiction writer. It has been the genre I enjoy reading most for a long, long time.
Good luck with your projects!
Wow, that’s amazing that you met Nicci and Sean 🙂 I have found them very inspirational in my own writing – they made me want to write from a psychological perspective. The only well known author I have met is Martina Cole – at a book signing in Waterstones bookshop in Croydon, London. She is also an amazing lady with a great story 🙂 Thanks for writing and good luck with your projects too 🙂