I am constantly reminded of how curious grandchildren can be when they are not asking you what it was like to live with dinosaurs!
The eldest, now 16, thought it interesting that I was a writer, and having just met a ‘real’ author who came to visit them at school, asked me a few questions, some of which sounded like she had asked my ‘real’ counterpart.
The first, how old I was when I first wrote a story, and what was that story about.
OK, that sent me back a long way into the distant past.
There was also a trick question; “What was the first story you read that put you on the path to wanting to become a writer”.
That was easy, Alistair Maclean’s HMS Ulysses. I showed her a copy of the book.
But, back to the main question. When did I start writing?
That required a little thought, and there were several triggers that gave me a date, where I lived at the time, the fact I used my mother’s old portable typewriter, and the fact I had not been long out of school. I was, in fact, about 17. It was nearly 50 years ago; I’ll let you do the math!
What was it about; that I couldn’t tell her, but I said I had rescued a lot of old scribbling of mine and put them in a box to look at later when I had the time.
I guess that time has arrived.
And, yes, there was the book, the individually typed pages, some with corrections, unfinished.
The pages were brown with age.
The story, well, I read the first few pages, and it seems I’d started down the thriller path then, the story so far, an agent comes ashore from a trawler to a bleak and isolated village, perhaps on the Scottish coast,
The next question, understandably; “What was the first book you ever finished?” That was The Starburst Conspiracy.
It also led to a few more discoveries, including a book I had forgotten I’d written. And all of the short stories I’d written when at University.
There were more questions, but like all children, her attention was soon distracted.
But, for me, the memories it brought back about my earliest forays into the world of writing were priceless.