Friday, October 20, 2006

Once upon a time . . . Going back to the beginning

This is a post that should have followed on from one I wrote back at the beginning of September – a post called Old Beginnings; New Beginnings - Or The Little Girl Who Could . . .

If you remember, I was sorting out my office after the redecorations and revamping – and finding lots of stuff from my past as a writer, right from the very beginning.

But then life, visitors, London, AMBA, Pink Hearts , the flu – someone called Hugh – etc etc intervened – so now I’m going back and starting again. I was thinking about this recently, and when I checked the file I was looking at – the one that said that my revisions for my first ever requested full ms arrived in the Richmond office on 31st August – and I found that it was 9th November 1982 that I received a letter from my very first ever editor saying that “Jacqui (Jacqui Bianchi) has asked me to tell you that she has recommended The Chalk Line to Mr Alan Boon for publication." (Well – that tells you how long ago it was, Mills & Boon was still run by one of the famous Mr Boons)

And I realised that as I hadn’t finished the story then, it was time I came back to it now – as we head towards the - eeek – 24th anniversary of the date on which I received my very first ever acceptance by Mills & Boon – as they were known then.
So - let’s go back in time . . .

Once upon a time, a long long time ago, in a galaxy far away . . .

Well, maybe not in a different galaxy, but certainly in a different county, in a small town called Sowerby Bridge, just outside Halifax West Yorkshire, in a big old house, there lived a little girl with her mother and father and four sisters. And this little girl always wanted to be a writer. She wrote stories in her head whenever she could. She dreamed them as she fell asleep, she imagined them in church, remembering to stand, sit or kneel as required, purely by rote, she even scribbled them in a notebook hidden by an upright text book in maths lessons at school – and got into trouble for not answering questions when they were asked.

And when she got the chance, if she could, she typed them up on an old, battered , manual typewriter that had belonged to her father. There is even a photograph of her, sitting in the garden, at old school desk – one of those with a slanting lift up lid, and a space for books inside, and a hole on the top for an inkwell – working away on her very first ever ‘book’.

Obviously, that little girl was me and when I wrote my first blog over on eHarlequin, I mentioned this photograph and a lot of people said they would love to see it – so here, for your delight (amusement?) is

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Author.

When I tried to scan this pic as it is in black and white it came out as just light and dark, with nothing showing clearly, so I’ve scanned it in some sepia sort of colours so that it is a bit clearer.

I wonder how many other authors have a photo of themselves as they started out on their writing careers, writing that very first ever ‘book’?

And what was I typing? Ah, well I know exactly the words that were on the piece of paper you can see tucked into the rollers of the elderly typewriter that had once seem service in my father’s GP’s surgery. . . I finally found them and I have them right here on the desk beside me. And they’re fascinating because . . .

But no – in the tradition of all good serial stories , I’ll say that this is . . to be continued

So come back tomorrow and see.


blueberri said...

I love visiting your blog because you are always full of delightful surprises, Kate. You have so many fine facets to your personality that I'm astounded.

The photo of you as a girl with dreams of becoming a writer is fantastic. This is verification that dreams do come true. :)

Anne McAllister said...

All I can say is, I hope you were writing about somebody called Andreas because the dreadline is approaching!

word verification: pxgfl? what sort of pixgiffle is that?

Anonymous said...

You look Anne-of-Green-Gables earnest!!! This is a great serial!!

Anonymous said...

What a great picture, it looks like a still from a film. And what a great story..It is lovely to have such a memento and to have realised that dream...thankfully for all of us too!
x Daisy

Kate Walker said...

I'm glad you're enjoying this, Blue. I'm a bit worried when I think how long ago that photo was taken - but then I look at what I've achieved in that time and it makes me feel better.

Anne - Andreas is fast becoming pixgiffle - or maybe I will be pixgiffle if I don't make progress with him! My word verification is fquxw which sounds mildly obscene. I think I'll adopt it as a private swear word.

Hi Cindy - Anne of Green Gables, that's going even further back. It's the plaits - and the blue and white gingham dress. I inherited that from my big sister - on her it looked much more sophisticated!

Film still, hmm, Daisy - well you should know. It is special to have that momonet of time captured and know that I was starting out on a road that's brought me to where I am today.


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