To my shock and delight, for once in my life I was able to look back at something I’d written and feel that it wasn’t complete tripe. Even with the way the idea had morphed and evolved in my mind, almost all of it could be salvaged with a bit of massaging and tweaking. So I cracked my knuckles and go to work.

When I started back at my job, I decided to keep one day a week for my daughter and I, so that she wouldn’t be in kindergarten more than two days at a stretch. But before long it became obvious that she had a great time there and got horribly bored at home with me. But since I was already used to the reduced salary, I discussed the idea with my boss that I keep that day free to write. I gave myself to the end of 2011 to make a go of it, and if I found that I wasn’t getting far enough, or wasn’t using the time effectively, I’d come back to work full time.

By the end of 2011 I had written almost 40 000 words. I was getting a lot of very positive feedback from beta readers, family and friends. I gave myself until March 2012 to get the first draft finished, which I achieved with a couple of weeks to spare. I was lucky enough to work with an editor through April, and completed a second and then final draft during my vacation and Easter. Amaranth, now 70,000 words, is currently out on submission to agents and publishers.