As part of my huge Marie-Kondo-Inspired-Clean-Out, I went through my memorabilia. I found a whole box of print-outs from stories I wrote as a teenager. Reading through them, some were awful and I tossed them out. But others… well, I ended up engrossed. Did I really write this? I judged a writing competition a while ago and it gave me a sense of where kids of various ages were up to with writing. My stuff, well, I thought it was pretty good. Not only that, but I found I still liked the characters and worlds I created. They’re not literary works of art by any stretch, but rereading them made me happy.
I decided to scan them in and compile them in a single, pretty volume, so I can dive into them and read whenever I fancy. It’s never a pleasure to read a dusty, stapled printout, but a proper book – well that would be appealing. I’ve printed it on Lulu, and I tell you, it looks gorgeous.
I wrote my first short novel, Play Me Sonatina, when I was twelve years old. After it won first prize in St Kilda Writers’ Competition, I wrote prolifically, tapping my stories into one of the world’s first word processors. I wrote sweet and comical stories for my younger brothers and cousins, but settled into my own flavour of writing when I went back to writing for myself. My worlds often have a romantic, troubled tint, with a touch of whimsy, much like the work I still do today. Embarrassed by this, I kept most of my stories private.
Now I’ve taken a deep breath and decided to offer them up for public reading. Here you’ll find gothic stories about siamese twins, seances on the chimney of a haunted mansion, and so-called ‘witches’ from the seventeenth century. There are six short novels, which delve into religious cults, schizophrenia. sustainable living and more. There are love stories, ballet dancers, babies, and plenty of girls who love girls.
While some of the stories are suitable for younger children, I’d recommend this book for ages 14 and up.
If you’d like to read this book, you can order it directly from Lulu.