There I was, starting a blog about my writing journey, and here I am today… something like 4 1/2 years later, celebrating PUBLICATION DAY!!!!!!!!!!! How to Mend a Broken Heart is out there, in the real world. It arrived on people’s kindles overnight. Paperbacks are winging their way to people’s houses. Thanks to the lovely people at Bookouture, my dreams are coming true! It’s the start of a new phase in my journey.
But wait… it’s not what I set out to do! I was writing picture books, wasn’t I? And I was, then, but it didn’t take long to realise that I’d opted for the wrong medium. It wasn’t my bag. I wasn’t any good at it. They may be short, but picture books are harder than they look! Novels, on the other hand, well, they’re a doddle by comparison! Okay, maybe not a doddle. I’ve scanned through some of my other blog posts too. It’s pretty painful reading. as was the writing. Sorry, to those of you who’ve stuck with me through thick and neurotic thin!
So blimey! We’re here. A few years later and now I can legitimately call myself a writer. In fact, I can legitimately call myself an author but in truth, it’s not a cap that fits. It feels a bit funny. A bit wonky. A bit like someone else’s cap. I think I’ll stick to writer for now. That one is much more comfy.
And the best thing about being a writer?
It’s the joy people share when they’ve written something of which they’re proud. And the smile it puts on my face when they trust me to read it. Even more so when that person is young and smart and has the whole world at their feet. Which is why I wanted to celebrate my publication day with Naomi Knowles, my ten year old neighbour. She came home from school last Friday, super excited to share with her mum, a piece of writing she did that day. A radio play. And then excited again, to share it with me. And then I got excited about the idea of sharing it with you, because once upon a time, I was that person, writing at school. I’d write ‘books’, I’d write ‘poems’, I’d write so fast I’d miss out words because my brain was working ahead of the pen in my hand. And I had no idea that this would be a sign of my future, an indicator as to what I might do if I tried. And it may or may not be a sign of Naomi’s… as I said before, the world is at her feet, she can do anything. But what a thrill to think it could be this. If she wanted. Like I did…
So here’s Naomi’s radio play. Inspired by events at the Baisakhi Festival, Amritsar, on April 13th 1919.
Thank you Naomi, for letting me share this. And, dear reader, in years to come, who knows… you may have read her here, first…
BAISAKHI BLOODBATH, 1919.
[RADIO NEWS REPORT. BAISAKHI FESTIVAL BLOODBATH, AMRITSAR. APRIL 13TH, 1919.]
NEWREADER #1 Yesterday, there was an incident. Innocent, non-violent people were shot by British Troops.
NEWSREADER #2 Only yesterday, thousands gathered for the Baisakhi Festival at the Golden Temple (in Amritsar). At 5 o’clock, troops arrived supported by Brigadier General Reginald Dyer: pulled back the trigger and suddenly fired at the innocent crowd around them.
NEWSREADER #1 We are going to hand over to our live reporter Johnathan Derrickson who is at the scene.
LIVEREPORTER [SCREAMING AND SHOUTING CAN BE HEARD IN THE BACKGROUND] These poor, poor people … they only came to protest and now look at them. Today, dead bodies around me and yesterday, only yesterday, the British Troops stood right where I am standing, killing at these innocent people.
At 4.30, British Troops – led by General R Dyer created chaos and destruction on this harmless site. But little did they know some of them would never leave. This little girl, Lucy, was there when it happened. Can you tell me what you saw?
EYEWITNESS [SCREAMING AND SHOUTING CAN STILL BE HEARD IN THE BACKGROUND. EYE WITNESS MUMBLES] At around half one, me and family arrived at the park. It’s somewhere I go with my Mummy every year, or that’s what is seems like. We had a picnic; I think it was about 3. Then some speeches happened. Some people walked in with guns; I wasn’t too scared because we hadn’t done anything, but … I … I … I was wrong.
Luckily a man pulled me to safety down a well to escape the bullets. But I couldn’t see my Mummy anywhere …
NEWSREADER #1 There were over a thousand deaths and a great number injured.
NEWSREADER #2 We are now going to hear a speech from General R Dyer.
GENRAL.R.DYER [POLICE INTERVIEW ROOM] Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to make a speech. “ I believe that the actions at Amritsar were necessary. I knew that there were children and women in the crowd but they had their final warning.” Thank you.
Naomi Knowles / 2017 / Copyright
Happy Publication day to me. And to those of you who’ve been through the last few years with me. THANK YOU! X