To say that my life has taken a huge 180° turn from where I thought I’d be, is an understatement. The stress and the extra stress (because ordinary stress wasn’t enough for me) began when my marriage broke down. Then we sold our family home, a place we’d lived for over 20 years. Add to that, my father getting cancer for the 5th time and requiring extensive treatment… treatment that zapped all his strength. My daddy, the man who would carry me on his shoulders when I was little; who would take my small hand in both of his big ones and blow on my fingers to warm them up; who would hold me in his big, protective arms – passed away in July 2015.
He was very sick while I was writing English Rose in the Outback and A Family for Chloe and my editors were patient and sympathetic when I missed my deadlines again and again. My mum was trying to look after him and when she hurt her back… well isn’t that one of the reasons you have children in the first place?
However, through all the trials, tribulations and turmoils, I have settled in a new suburb, made new friends and found a new flavour, freshness and freedom that I have never known before. This also happened while I was writing English Rose in the Outback and A Family for Chloe. My new neighbours have quickly become like a new extended family, sharing meals, regular coffee catch-ups and lots of laughter. One of these neighbours is a 4 year old little girl.
“I think you should write about a little girl who’s nearly 4, like me,” she told me one day as we were walking between my house and hers.
“Hmm. Good idea.”
“And she could be clever like me and ride a bike like me and have sparkly shoes like me and be as funny as me.” [cue fake childish laughter]
“These are all good ideas. Thank you… but what shall I call her?”
“Chloe Jane… like me!”
How could I not be inspired?
And so… with new inspiration to help fuel the imagination fires, English Rose in the Outback and A Family for Chloe came to pass. They are filled to the brim with a multitude of emotions… and I lived almost every single one of them.
I do hope you enjoy the Meeraji Lake duo of English Rose in the Outback and A Family for Chloe.
Remember… inspiration may be just around the corner.