Ten writers for children. All with something to say.

10/12/10

My First Novel

The year was 1980. My sister and I spent the summer in England visiting our grandparents. Although we took many a daytrip to castles, cathedrals and various other tourist destinations, we were there for two months, leaving plenty of downtime. At some point during the summer, I decided to work on a novel and so a few days a week I packed up pen and paper and took the bus downtown to the Liverpool library, where I diligently wrote (by hand!) about 100 pages over the course of the summer. (The story itself involved a group of “stoners” at a high school reunion; a reflection of the milieu in Alaska at the time.) While it was not the first writing project I ever attempted, it was my first “completed” novel, and I still remember the pride I felt after I finished the last page and returned to my grandparents’ flat, certain that an adoring public would soon discover my literary talent! Although things did not exactly turn out that way, the experience remains a very fond memory from that summer.

I still have the hand-written manuscript tucked away somewhere for posterity…

7 comments:

Christy said...

Sounds like an amazing setting and opportunity for you to have a two-month writing retreat. That kind of stick-to-itness is impressive at such a young age.

Lauren said...

What a wonderful memory Mark! I have not read your more recent writing, but I have a feeling the magic of those castles and cathedrals ingrained themselves in your imagination--- Interesting that you would write about "what you knew" back then while experiencing so much new. And how great that you have that manuscript still.
What an accomplishment!

Edie said...

Mark,
Every writer needs that first completed manuscript tucked away on a shelf somewhere. It's great to finish one at a young age, and, who knows, you may return to it at some point!

Diane Adams said...

The fact that you stuck with the novel to the end inspires awe in me. I write for young children and have started many a novel, but finished not-a-one.

Stephanie said...

Amazing that you finished what you started at such an age. I still can't do that half the time...

betsy woods said...

Lucky duck.

David LaRochelle said...

I, too, am impressed that you finished a 100 page novel! I didn't manage to do that till I was past 40!