I write stories for children. (I write a lot of other things too!) They’re set in the world I live in. My Goddaughter lives in a world just like mine.
I mention my Goddaughter because she's a very important part of my writing story. If it weren't for Elizabeth, I probably never would have written my children's novels.
It all began when Elizabeth's mother said something like, "Sue, you should write a story for children."
Now I knew how to write interesting letters to children. At least, Elizabeth thought my letters were pretty good. But stories? I didn't think I could do it so I said, "I can't write fiction." And that might have been the end of it, except I couldn't get Elizabeth's mother's words out of my head. Around and around they went until one day I announced, "I'm going to write a story. It might be awful, but what if it's not? I won't know until I try."
So I tried. I opened up my computer and began. I found myself in charge of lots of characters. I chose their names and decided what they were going to do. It was a lot of fun. When I'd typed the very last word, I was very excited. I couldn't wait to share what I'd written. I shouted, "Hey girls, do you want to listen to my story?" Of course, my daughters did, and so I read it out loud. "Well, do you like it?" I asked. They did! There was just one problem: Perhaps they liked it because I'm their mother and not because it was good. I needed another opinion. And I knew just the person to ask: Father James Tierney.
Father Tierney is a priest, an author, and my friend. He knows all about children's fiction because he's the author of the very successful Bush Boys books. I decided to fax my story to Father Jim. Perhaps he'd read it and then give me some feedback.
After my story had disappeared down the phone line, I paced up and down, thinking, "Will Father like my story?" I didn't have to wait long to find out. A few minutes later, I received the words: "Write some more!" So I did. I wrote story after story. (I did a lot of rewriting too.) I wrote enough stories to fill a book.
And that book is called The Angels of Abbey Creek.
If you look in the front of the book, you'll see the words:
For My Goddaughter Elizabeth.
Now you know why Elizabeth is an important part of my writing story.
I write about the world Elizabeth, and I live in. But what sort of world is that? I'll tell you more in my next post.