It was all Enid Blyton's fault, and maybe the fact that my parents decided one child was enough and lived in a little village meaning I was left to entertain myself a lot of the time. I loved books, as much as I loved colouring and drawing.
It was so easy for me to drift off into make believe where I would daydream about going on adventures with a basket of sandwiches, cake and bottle of ginger beer. Living with fairies and pixies, climbing trees and meeting the strangest of people. I lived inside books. Everyone knew what to buy me as a present - books or art supplies.
It wasn't just Enid Blyton either. I would look forward to receiving my Sunday School Prize, a lovely new book , with an ornate paper sticker with my name on it inside the cover. Always adventure stories.
It was no surprise that I'd be off across the fields, into the woods, making dens, climbing trees and pretending a fallen tree trunk was a boat sailing off to faraway shores... My head was filled with stories. It still is.
However, as I grew older, and had to start more serious reading at school I found it difficult to write 'properly', and although I was extremely good at English and could easily rattle off a several paged essay or read Romeo and Juliet in a couple of days, I was dreadful at reports or other academic writing - not good when you're at Grammar School!
I failed one of my favourite subjects during my O level mocks. I loved Geography, learning about new places fuelled my imagination and enhanced my daydreams. Miss Rawes sighed deeply as we discussed my paper, telling me that although I had written some 'lovely stories' they wouldn't get me enough marks to pass. I managed to just scrape through but was desperate to leave school to start my own adventures by then.
Other books came along, but The Hobbit took over from The Famous Five, and later The Lord of The Rings. Adult adventures!
I have so many stories in my head that I must start to get them out there, to make some space!
And so, here I am, throwing myself in the deep end, starting with the biggest adventure of my life which began a year after I left school - 'The Freedom Years #1', which I intend to illustrate myself too fulfilling my childhood dream to write and illustrate my own book.