Many years ago, in a land far, far away, I started writing a manuscript that took me out of this world and planted me firmly in a world of my choice. There was no anger, no hatred, no pain, but plenty of love and romance to be found. The main character’s name was different to my own, but she was me through and through. Her love interest was my knight in shining armour – the man I believed would ride into my life and save me. The name of that book then, was Bondmates. However, after having the manuscript assessed, I was told that a young adult book should not have such a name and I think we can all see why, so the name changed to Whispering Caves.
The manuscript underwent several changes after my divorce. Strangely, I no longer needed to escape into a mystical world of love and wonder and I was quite content to remove myself from the story and insert a fictitious character in my place. I also realised that a place where only good things happened didn’t make for a good (or interesting) plot, so I inserted a number of hurdles into my character’s path. Gone was the world I had created for myself and suddenly a new world was born in its place.
The story grew, curving away from anything I had previously imagined. But I grew to love the characters and the setting just the same as I did in the first version. However, after several further attempts to bring the story up to a standard I could be proud of I realised an important fact. It didn’t matter what the world or characters were called, this story was and would forever be for me and me alone.
When I was struck by this realisation, I stopped working on Whispering Caves. Perhaps I’ll change my mind about sharing this story with the world in the future, but for now, I have a single copy of the manuscript published. The cover can be seen above. This copy of the story will be treasured by me to the end of my time on this earth. Maybe afterwards, my descendants will treasure the book for me.