With the expected release date of the 26th SEPTEMEBER for THE PROMISE:CHILDREN OF ANNWN I wanted to reflect over how it all began.
Behind the story of The Promise.
In 2009, I moved from Wales back to New England. I had relocated there in 2001 with my husband's job, but I had only ever in my heart decided that this would be a short term move whilst the children were young.
However, as anyone who has moved and lived abroad will know, many things change and when you return home neither you or the place is the same. Therefore, in 2009 I was once again back in the states.
As I sat in the garden of my new home and pondered what I had done again as I had left behind my oldest son, who was twenty, my aging mother, my sisters who could barely speak to me at the time and my nephews, I was in a dark and lonely place. For a while, I shut myself off to the world and contemplated my life, my future and what that would entail.
So whilst my kids frolicked in their new Gunite swimming pool in the middle of August, I sat there and penned my first ever romantic novel.
My mind was full of ideas and a story came to life very easily, and I supposed I poured my heart out to start off with. I always found writing therapeutic and when I read over what I had written a lot of pent-up feelings, and emotions filled the pages.
My only clear view of the story at that time, which in the beginning had no title and has changed twice in the course of five years, was the picture of a young woman stood upon the shores of her home saying good-bye. Mia as the character became known was tall, slim, and her hair flowed behind her. She stood reminiscing over the reasons she was leaving, and as she sobbed, the waves crashed against the shore. Then, a breathtakingly handsome man strolled over the sand and stands behind her rubbing her arms and whispering that it was time!
I saw that scene as clear as day and have spent the past five years crafting and perfecting the story. In the beginning, I had a flurry of ideas for the plot but making sure that what I wanted to say transpired into something one could read was another story. I did what I believe a lot of writers do, I simply kept writing whilst the story unfolded inside my brain, I let the characters perform and sometime drift! Only stopping when the story concluded.
Afterwards when I read the entire manuscript, I realized several things, NEVER show anyone until you are happy with the manuscript and what you think you have written isn't sometimes what you have actually written! Furthermore, that characters don't always know what is best for themselves, and you have to have a plan before you start and then let the world build up around you!
In reading through my manuscript, I started to evaluate and critically appraise my writing. I started using a story board as I was working through the changes and really began brain storming where I actually wanted the story to go, because there were parts I felt needed explaining and backing up. It was also my way of making sure that things that I said in the beginning of the book were carried out and followed through so that the story made sense.
I always knew the story would be a romance and that it would be centered around a couple that would be young adults. The plot was centered around a voyage of self-discovery about themselves, and what obstacles were in their way to true love. I wanted the story to show how to overcome your fears, and how to face unexpected challenges that life throws at you with a mix of fantasy thrown in. When in your darkest moments you think you will fail something inside makes you push through and try harder, that is the power that true love can provide.
True love is the strongest magic and a powerful source of energy that can sway the balance of evil and all that is good. Mia and her love Ryder have a journey full of hurdles they both have to overcome. Mia is tested to the brink of insanity and life itself.
In 2009, I made a promise to myself that I would write the story that invaded my head and dreams. This is only the beginning.