I’m no good at blogs. I’ve never really written them before. I’m a creative writer – it’s what I do. In fact, I thrive on it. Writing for me is my therapy. Some people draw, some people sing, some people even bake – but for me, it’s writing. I can convey, happiness, sadness, love and angst between characters to help expel what I am feeling- and expel it in a positive way.
The Raystone 4 started at a very turbulent time in my life. Inbetween book 3 and 4, I lost my Dad. We didn’t have a typical father-daughter relationship. He belittled my writing, often poking fun at the Raystone Saga and was baffled when I would give him feedback of successful fetes and signings. Despite this, losing him was one of the worst days of my life and a day I will never forget; December 16th 2016. Since that day I have gone through some huge changes in my life, I moved out to Spain to stupidly invest money in a bar and fund someone else’s dream. Sadly that dream was short-lived and when the money ran out, so did my usefulness. I got a good two years of sunshine, but I missed my friends, the conventions and signings, I missed my Mum’s home cooking.
So in November 2019, I came back to the U.K – right before covid came along. During the pandemic, I spiralled into depression. Writing anything was hard, work was non-existant. I was on medication and therapy. Eventually, I started my own business of dog walking and relaunched my publishing label, Seventh Realm. I found the strength to start writing and wonder if readers will pick up that Hazel, is going through some severe depression in the Raystone 4- but the word is never mentioned.
The Raystone 4 was going to be more about the discrimination of magic and freedom of speech, but to have a relevant subplot of a very taboo subject has become very important to me. Depression sucks! Last year an old friend of mine took his own life. He was 39. He was a big influence in the character development of Chris. Chris’s character has evolved a lot since then, but the ‘best friend’ relationship he has with Jessie, is incredibly similar to how ours was. It gives me small comfort to know he will somehow live on in Chris, for all his goofiness and hot-headedness – he’s a good guy.
So in closing; The Raystone 4 launches this year- I’m hoping for a summer release but it’s way too far away to have a definite date. I am in the closing chapters now. Then the hard graft of proofreading and editing begins! This book has been through a lot with me and as such readers may notice a change in the tone and pace of this one. For that, I apologise in advance. I’m not the same person I was when I started this book. Like Hazel, I fought some huge demons, I lost friends and family, fell into a deep dark hole and somehow clawed my way out of it. I came out a little wiser and a lot stronger… I survived.
And I know Hazel will too!