The Writing of Acastons Locket

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How It Began

The whole thing began on Halloween in 2002 when I was 13. I was helping one of my friends write a story for her English homework. She was having trouble with ideas, and I came up with an idea which I thought would make the longest story I’d ever written. At the time I was only thinking of about 30 pages, but in the end it was around 300! My friend actually said to me that I was good at writing short stories, but would never be able to write a book. I was absolutely convinced that I could turn my idea into a book, and I even decided to base the main character on her. She said that I had to prove it and make my idea into a book. She gave me until next Halloween to do it.

I did it within a year. It took so many drafts, a lot of late nights, (and I mean really late nights) and plenty of laughter with my friends. I mainly wrote between the time when I knew my parents were asleep, which was about midnight, until 4 in the morning, when I could hardly keep my eyes open any longer. I did this partly because I felt more inspired at that time, and quite simply because it was quiet. There was nothing to distract me, unlike in the daytime, when my parents seemed to intrude in every five minutes, telling me to do something or simply put clothes away. Whenever someone came into my room I lost my train of thought. I didn’t really want them to find out at the time as I didn’t want them to even try to help me, it was something I wanted to do on my own.

Fortunately being the age I was, no one noticed if I stayed in bed late the next morning, it was considered normal by my parents. I’ve now gone the opposite way and I’m a morning person, partly because I’m not writing anything at the moment, and I have a horse I can ride. Now my parents know I’ve written a book, they’ll leave me alone if I tell them I’m going to write and don’t want to be disturbed. I got incredibly good at pretending to be asleep though.

My friends helped me a lot with the writing, especially when I got writers block. Usually I’d have a plan and I’d know where I wanted the characters to be, but didn’t know how to get them there.

Once I’d given the book to my mum I started trying to find a publisher. This was when I had just turned 15. I recieved rejection letters from all the main publishers I tried, either because they didn’t want to look at any books from authors who didn’t have literary agents, or because they didn’t want any more fantasy books. Some of them didn’t reply at all.

Eventually I found a smaller, newer publishers called Librario who were trying to promote new authors, so I tried them. The first time they sent me a letter saying that they didn’t want to publish it and gave me a list of things they felt should be improved. I asked them if I made their suggested changes would they look at it again and they agreed to do so. Just before I turned 16 I sent them the final version which was about double the length and also incorporated other stories that I had written and sent it back to them. This time they accepted it. I was excited and at the same time terrified at the thought of my name being on the front cover of a book. Acaston’s Locket is being released at the end of September and can be bought from from the 22nd of September 2005.