I’m often asked in interviews; did you always know that you wanted to be a writer, or have you always written? The answer is, yes. I did always want to write and I’ve been writing in some capacity for a long time. When I was at school, I wrote lots of short stories and poems. My school report cards repeatedly talked about how creative I was and how I never lacked imagination (although most of my teachers thought I should actually pay more attention to my academic subjects and put the stories away!). Despite that, I can’t remember a lot of what I wrote at the time. Recently I reorganised my office. I was unpacking some old boxes from a house move a few years ago, and came across something I haven’t seen for about twenty years. The French Mystery by Christina Curtis.
I’d completely forgotten that around the age of Eleven/Twelve years old, I sat down and wrote my first “book” called the The French Mystery.
Finding it was funny for several reasons. I had handwritten it; 70 pages of A4. I’d also given it a title. Created a cover from cardboard, neatly drawn with felt tip pen, and even drawn pictures to go inside.
I read some of the story and it instantly came flooding back. The story is about myself and a handful of my school friends. It describes us going camping on an old Roman hill fort in the village we grew up in. Whilst camping we discover a group of French thieves are illegally digging on the historical site and hunting for artefacts. Imagine an archaeological version of the Famous Five if you will.
Having re-read The French Mystery over thirty years later, I’m surprised at the well thought out storyline. I realise now that after spending decades searching for my niche/genre, it had been there all along and I’d just forgotten about it. Historical suspense was my love, and the very first book I wrote as a child.
I eventually found my way back to my niche – historical suspense – and I’m still writing, and have now published eight works, a mix of books and short stories. It’s been so interesting finding The French Mystery buried at the bottom of a box and seeing where it all started; the place where my writing journey began. At such a young age too! I’m also glad that it survived over three decades of being carted around in boxes and being moved across the country. I’m so glad it was never thrown out.
It would have been a shame if I had lost it. Not only has finding The French Mystery reaffirmed that I’m doing what I was meant to do, but it was also fun reading all about my old village, the old Roman Hill fort and my old school friends. Dreams can stay with us a long time, sometimes decades, never give up! You never know what may happen in the future!
• Have you ever discovered something years later, that reaffirmed that you were on the right path in life?
Chrissie Parker is an English author of 8 published works, including novels, shorts stories and poetry.
To learn more, explore her website and learn more about her love of writing, the inspiration for her books and the country's she's visited on her travels! https://www.chrissieparker.com
Welcome to my blog, My occasional ramblings will take you on a journey through many subjects, from my books, to history, as well as what it's like to be a writer and my love of travelling! Enjoy the updates!