Aurelia introduced herself to me on
a yellow notepad several years ago. I do not remember when,
exactly, but I remember her because she was complaining loudly
about an itching ankle. I spent a couple days with her at the time
and wrote what would eventually become the prologue, chapter 1,
and chapter 3 of Aurelia. I am ashamed to say that I left her
hanging onto the edge of a river bank.
This is not to say,
however, that Aurelia shut up. In fact, she told me her entire
story, which extends well beyond the final scene in my first book.
I filed her words away in my brain where any number of other
stories reside. At the time, this was how I always worked, writing
bits and pieces, imagining the rest of the story for my own
pleasure, and moving on to write part of something else.
But Aurelia does not like being ignored. During Christmas vacation
in 2003, I spent several more days listening to her, typing up the
events surrounding the horse fair, and becoming acquainted with
Robert. I dragged him into the stables at Midbury, then left him
there for another year. In 2004, I finally decided that I needed
to dedicate myself to completing a book I could really submit for
publication. Aurelia volunteered for the position.
Robert from the stables and finished my first draft by the end of
school year. I had decided to take a year off from teaching to
focus on writing and naively thought that by writing full-time, I could finish revising within about a
month. I attended classes, conferences, and a critique group, all
of which taught me that I had a lot more work to do. Yikes! Seven
months and umpteen revisions later, I sent out my initial
submissions. Ultimately, however, Aurelia has had her way. The
beginning of her story is finally complete. In my head, this is
the first of three books. I hope you will all want to hear more
from her because I have a feeling she will not stop talking until
her entire story has been