Picture this, London 2002. A young African girl moves to London for graduate school and to finally pursue her dream of writing. Along the way she makes some life long friends, has some wild adventures and one day would write it all down.
I’ve always devoured books. Any books, but romance books were a particular favorite. I could read a book in a three hour sitting. The summer of 2000, I had taken a detour through my favorite Barnes and Noble on 10th street in Manhattan and picked up Bridgette Jones’s Diary.
I read the whole thing in two hours. I laughed and giggled, and cringed for poor Bridget. But the whole time something was borne in me as I read. I was so used to thinking of authors as this special class of person who had to have perfect creative writing grades. I saw them as some magical creatures who didn’t mingle with the regular people. But the whole time I was reading Bridget I was thinking, I could do this. I could write a book.
I immediately grabbed my laptop and started banging out a manuscript knowing nothing about characterization, plot or the writing business. Like so many newbie “have a lot to learn” writers, I said things like, “How difficult could it be?” An adorable heroine, sexy hero, a cute meet, sprinkle some acerbic wit and bam, you have a book. God, I had no idea. Who knew I needed plot, characterization, some magical writing and heaps of luck?
I didn’t finish that book in just a few months as my deluded little brain had imagined. But the magic of London prompted me to dust off the old story. While there, all I could think was how magical it all was and how one day I wanted to capture how amazing the city made me feel.
Did I finish that book in London? No. Because, English boys. But I did eventually finish that book. Though it languishes in the bottom of a drawer somewhere, because it was quite terrible. But those notes of my adventures in London, they did make it into a book. Two actually, London Bound and London Calling.
15 years and 19 published books later I wouldn’t trade the journey for a pair of Prada pumps, (Let’s be honest, I might trade the experience for some Louboutins), I know what work goes into being a writer. The pain, pleasure, joy of it. The sweat and the literal tears. It’s in my blood now. And the city of London helped put it there.
*Info was provided by Xpresso Book Tours
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