I rewrote The Maze nine times before I was happy with it. When I first wrote it, everything was based in England and there were only seventy or so pages. In 1989 though, I moved to Sweden. One of the main characters became Swedish and all of a sudden, boundless ideas came my way. I was amazed, not because I thought I was writing the best book in the world, but because I was actually writing a book. I wasn’t out to prove anything to anybody, except myself. I was doing what I set out to do. My goal was to write a book, and I was writing a book. At the same time, I was compiling my poems into an anthology. I divided them up into four parts, four chapters, Love, War, Food for Thought and, A Little Bit of Fun. I was twenty-five years of age, wrote my first poem at the age of fifteen. I aptly entitled the anthology, Ten Years of The Heart. I was also spending huge amounts of time reading dictionaries, learning new, descriptive words all the time.
When The Maze was complete, I began The Blood Tree. By this time though, I had grown interested in the native people of Sweden. They are the Sami people, also spelled Sámi or Saami; are the Arctic indigenous people of Sápmi which today covers parts of far northern Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Kola Peninsula. I began making Saami friends, attending Saami meetings, learning everything I could about them. Once I had the information I deemed necessary, I began writing a book about them. I also began another book. I was now writing three books at the same time, moving from one to the other, as I felt fit. Writing took me over, totally consumed me. I lived, breathed and dreamed the written word, was an addict. I was addicted to something else once upon a time, but it certainly wasn’t writing.
I began sending my work off to various publishers, although I hadn’t really thought in depth about which ones I should send to. Most of them wrote back, some saying they liked my work, but were not taking manuscripts at that time and others saying, they liked my ideas but were unable to help. Some appeared genuinely interested and even asked me to contact them the following year. I didn’t. I had long since found myself in some sort of no-man’s-land, my body firmly in my new life, my thoughts lost within the depths of my old life. I was having nightmares, feeling terrible, but having nobody to talk with about my problems. Besides, help costs money and I didn’t have two pennies to rub together. On top of everything, I soon discovered I was to become a father, my girlfriend was pregnant. It caused such mixed emotions. On the one hand, I had always wanted to become a father and on the other, I wasn’t even sure if I could take care of myself, let alone a child.
On Monday, part 4 of The Greatest Love Affair of All will post.
We have exciting news to share with you. This Saturday, West Central Tribune will be doing a video of Gavin and Rosie promoting area voices. They will air this soon; be on the look out! Have a good weekend and see you Monday 🙂