Writers aren’t people…
…they’re a whole load of people trying to be one person.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
My first recollection of choosing to write was around the age of twelve when I read the first book to make a lasting impression on me. It was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s first novel: This Side of Paradise—the only work that was to become a bestseller in his life-time, and which many contemporary critics have since branded as ‘sophisticated juvenilia.’
What few of these critics have acknowledged is that the secret of this novel’s popularity was that it was Fitzgerald’s only truly autobiographical work. As a young girl beginning secondary school it shocked me that a writer could set down the conceited, egotistical ideals of youth and create a plot that was witty, comical, and in places profound.
It struck me that everyone must have experienced something like the transition from adolescence to adulthood described in that novel, and for that reason it had the potential to move all who read it on some level, if they would only try to reconnect with the time of life it commemorated. This early experience of inspiration sums up the obsession and passion for literature that has defined my life ever since.
For me the genius of writing is that it is the only art-form that allows you to truly inhabit another’s body. For the time you read you become someone else—you possess the author, or they possess you.
I enjoy the sense of being challenged when I read—of being shocked and scandalised, of allowing myself to contemplate ideals and experiences that my innate prejudices would not allow me to experience in life.
When I write, I take the same pleasure in the idea that I am creating this experience for someone else. In writing we find a communion that transcends mortality, and it is the kind of communion we could not have experienced if we knew the author personally.
It is the communion of being one with them—in their body and in their mind.
Welcome to my website. I hope you can find that communion with me…