Back in 2007 I was living in London and studying for a degree in Printed Textiles. It was also the year that I helped to clear out my Great Aunt’s house, a lady who lived her life in pursuit of creativity and also worked as a textile designer. Among the sheet music, the poetry and the watercolour paints I found a small book entitled – “How to write for Children.”
This book was where it all began. When I got it back to London, I opened it up and began to read. A few chapters in I read the words – “Where do lost things go?” and my brain replied, “they go to Lost Property of course.” That was it. I closed the book and began to write, my idea had been born.
Now, I wasn’t completely new to writing for children. The year previously, during the summer I was lazing in bed as students tend to do and an idea for a story came floating by. I grabbed it with both hands and opened my laptop and began to write a tale about a horrid princess. This story was never finished. It still sits in my laptop to be occasionally marveled over by me and only me. I may never finish that story, and to be honest I don’t even know how it ends.
But unlike that story I couldn’t let this one go.
I kept the idea for Lost Property alive at all times, I carried it with me for years, working on it from time to time while I toiled away as a textile designer, injured my back, got married and then finally took a desk job. The idea of a giant Lost Property, filled with all our lost things was something my imagination would not let go of until I had done something about it. And who should run this giant world of lost things? Elves of course! And so, the story grew.
In April 2015, after ten years in the big smoke we decided to move back to the north and get ourselves on the property ladder like real adults. I took Lost Property with me, in fact I took a whole host of unfinished story ideas with me.
I always felt like I was on to something special with Lost Property, I believed in the story so much I refused to give up on it. I decided I would finish it no matter how hard it would be. No matter how many drafts I had to do, no matter how many times I would have to re write the beginning and the ending, no matter how many times I would want to fling my laptop out of the window. I would drag that story out of me and see it through to the end.
That process was a tough learning curve for me, but it made me want to be an author.