A love for middle grade and young adult novels has been a lifetime passion for me. I used to read novels out loud to my children when they were younger. I’d had ideas for novels before and wanted to write one for many years before I actually did. Most of my novel ideas are for children or teens.
I finished my first novel first draft in 2001 – that was The Scribe of Irohila – the first novel in the Antediluvian Adventures series. That novel should be published soon after River Girl. After finishing that first draft and a few others, I went back to my River Girl project and finished it in 2003.
After that I spent many years revising these two novels. I got critiques from writing friends, and revised more. It has been a huge learning process for me! Finally both novels are ready to be published – but River Girl comes first.
I wrote River Girl for the children and teenagers in Happy Camp. I wanted them to have a novel about children who lived in this town.
Claire and Toby, and all the other characters in River Girl, are fictional. Though I got the inspiration for them from my children, they are not exactly like my children, and all the other characters are from my imagination too.
When I wrote the last chapter of River Girl in 2003, I got a big surprise. I’d always had a certain ending in mind, however while writing I got another even better ending that brought tears to my eyes. Novel endings are sometimes difficult to write, but this one came together like it was always supposed to be there. If it surprised the author, I think it will probably surprise you too. I hope you like it!