…it all ended for me, with writing Blood & Fire. That was Hallowe’en 2001, and an autumn hiatus of frantic writing wherein I wrote much of chapter one (since extended) and the seeds of chapter two. It was the autumn that followed the summer that saw my first, memorable visit to Iceland (since repeated twice). And then it all stopped.

Then I heard the news. It was a Wednesday. It was about 6pm. It was devastating. My parent’s home had burnt to the ground.

For six months or more my writing literally ceased. I couldn’t do it. Even now I remember the smell. The distasteful, sickening smell of burnt wood and plastic, and unnatural materials (for the record, I still quite like the smell ofwoodsmoke) – this wasn’t woodsmoke.

Eventually I did start writing again, but it was in dribs and drabs. It was piecemeal and unsatisfactory. I started revising my earlier, finished novel, Flyht, as the longest-serving readers of this journal may remember but my heart wasn’t really in it. It was some eighteen months after Hallowe’en 2001 that my writing really took off again. It can be recorded from April 2003 the hiatus that saw the complete revision and considerable extension of chapter one.

It was some time later before I realised what it was that enabled me to start writing Blood & Fire again: that it was the feelings of grief and sorrow, and the literally sleepless nights that followed 31 October 2001 that allowed me draw on those to write convincingly how Ben was feeling at the loss of his sister.

It seems somehow fitting then, that today, 31 October 2004, I have written in excess of 700 words, and the progression of the story.