From the beginning, I had to do things differently.
Conceived at an ABBA concert, I was born on a flight to Brussels. Doctor Rayme said there was no chance of me escaping the womb in the next month, but I wasn’t having it. I’d already had my first novel idea. All I needed was a pen.
The formative years were tough for me. From the day I was born, I knew I was exceptional, but I was already self-conscious. I hated the idea of messing up. I spoke my first word at four months but refused to talk in front of people until I was confident I could get through a complex sentence without tripping up.
Long before I had mastered this pen and paper lark, I was coming up with ideas. Suspense thrillers about escaping from nursery. Romantic adventures about fellow three-year-old, Susan Tibbs. Horrors about monsters who pretend to care about you but make you eat vegetables.
By the time I could write I was practically feverish with the sheer avalanche of ideas rolling through my young mind. I took to the paper like an alcoholic takes to free vodka.
Needless to say, my first story was a mess. A jumble of ideas built up over the first six years of my life, all combining to crush my work under a needlessly complicated plot that never really ended. Like a Stephen King epic. Finishing that book was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do and, once I was done, staring down at my creation, I felt somewhat like Dr Frankenstein looking at his monster.
I was dejected. Heartbroken. I took it hard, refusing to listen to my mother’s continual assertions that it was not uncommon for a six-year-old to be unable to write a masterpiece.
I didn’t care. I wanted to be uncommon. I wanted to be exceptional. That book made me wonder if I wasn’t just like everyone else.
After that, I didn’t write again for a very long time.