There have been several moments in my life that have had such resonance that I’ve found myself pausing, smiling and looking back over my journey to that point. My first lone journey abroad as a young woman to live in London. My first kiss. The first dance at my wedding. The first home that was all mine. My first day as a mother.
As I get older, there are fewer firsts. But today I’m delighted to be celebrating one such occasion. Today, I hold my first book in my hands. I’ve become a published author.
To place the moment in context, it is necessary to skip back in time to visit a young girl with a big imagination and a yearning to fall in love.
She is a dreamer, of course. She drinks in romantic tales told by her governess. She practises her ballet and imagines herself to be Swan Lake’s Odette dancing with Prince Siegfried. She idolises Hollywood stars on the black and white television and the big screen at the cinema. She sits on the balcony for hours lost in a world of Elvis crooning on the transistor radio. She voraciously devours Intimité and Nous Deux novels – the French version of Mills and Boon in the 1960s. And she writes – she writes of love and romance and happy-ever-afters.
What becomes of the girl? Well, she becomes an adult – with all the reality and responsibility that brings. And she falls in love, for real, at last. But she never loses sight of the girl she once was. She holds fast to her dreams.
It was Walt Disney – that wonderful creator of fairytale realms to comfort and cheer us all – who said, ‘Too many people grow up. That’s the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up. They forget. They don’t remember what it’s like to be twelve years old.’
I do. I remember when the world seemed a fairytale. And I am, in my heart, still that girl with her head in the clouds.
A long time ago, I dreamt that one day I would write romance stories. And here I am. Because, from the world of Disney:
If your heart is in your dreams
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do
I hope that my readers will enjoy Burning Embers as I have so enjoyed writing it, and will find it kindles that flame of passion and romance within.