I guess everyone thinks that Red Dust was the first book I ever wrote… but it wasn’t! One of my oldest friends came to stay with me, around the time Red Dust was launched and brought with her, my first book.
Not quite novel length and titled very plainly, ‘The Letter’ you can see the illustrations that a fellow border did for me (never put a coloured pencil in my hand, it doesn’t belong there!)
I think this was a year eight English assignment and as I flicked through it, it brought back all sorts of funny memories, not only from writing it, but from the time it was written. You may see the name ‘Mrs Mackay’ mentioned in my acknowledgements, well her eldest son, Lachlan, was the inspiration behind it!
Lach must have been about four or five, a desperately wanting a baby sister. Susan, my sister, was great buddies with Lach and between them, they thought that Father Christmas could bring a baby sister for Lach and my sister’s huge want, a horse.
Unfortunately, my imagination wasn’t quite what it is now and the story finished with Lach getting a doll and Susan getting a toy horse.
Lach never got his baby sister, he got a gorgeous baby brother (although he now has a beautiful baby daughter) but my sister did her horse!