We thought it was about time our authors stepped away from their keyboards a little and introduced themselves properly, and so throughout the coming business year 2013/14 we're going to be presenting an irregular series of guest blogs. We cannot tell a lie, we actually drew lots so that it would be completely random - and the lucky winner of the first place is our good friend R.A. Padmos, the author of RAVAGES and UNSPOKEN! So, here she is, in her very own words...
More than once, I’ve been asked how and when it all started. What was the moment I realised I wanted to write stories? Human memory is a notoriously untrustworthy thing, so I assume that even this account has at least some elements of fiction.
I must have been ten, eleven at most, and just like any schoolchild can tell you, the fresh year started with the assignment to write a short essay about what we did during our vacation. I have no idea why, but instead of writing first I did this and then I did that, I wrote about the very real and yet totally fictional family who went on a happy camping trip in the Ardennes. It was, of course, my own family and everything that happened in my story, had actually happened. And yet, by simply changing the perspective I had discovered something. I discovered that by simply changing I into they, I opened up a whole world of creative possibilities.
Soon enough I made up my own characters and situations that were truly fictional, though heavily leaning on whatever I was reading at that moment, or saw on TV. But, by imitating writers who, I assumed in my teenage adoration, knew exactly what they were doing, I learned all those neat tricks you can perform with language. Not surprisingly, I discovered later that writers have a tendency to do a lot of stumbling in the dark, and that not all fiction is created equal.
Skip many years and there I found myself writing the first words of what would become RAVAGES. Steve knows he looks like an idiot.
Knows, not knew. It wasn’t on purpose, I wasn’t even conscious of it until I had written the first few chapters. I could have easily changed it, but even if the content would have remained exactly the same, it would still have resulted in a totally different reading experience. So, I left it as it was and accepted the journey with Steve and Daniël. Would the novel have been technically better if I had thought `damn, I made a mistake` and corrected it? Probably. Would it have been easier on the readers? I have no doubt about it.
And yet, now I reread RAVAGES a couple of years after I wrote that first sentence, I know I made the right decision. Good or bad, this is the way this story had to be told by me. Just like that ten year old, more than forty years ago, had to write they and the family instead of I and my family.
Because that is how stories, and writers, are born.