I started writing when I was about 8 and still clutching a number 2 pencil. My stories were heavily inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson, and I didn't know much.
When I finally set out to write a mystery novel, after years of practice as a journalist and as an academic, I wish I had known that it would be a soul wrenching, difficult, and long journey...that I couldn't keep an arm's length distance as I did in other professional writing ...that on some days I would feel like a single towel in a tumbling dryer.
Of course, if I had known, I probably couldn't have even started. The day I began Said the Fly (originally called The Lost Island because I was still in RLS land), I was living on the island that inspired this story. Sitting on the roof of our rented house, I watched my apron clad landlady methodically hanging out laundry on rope lines with plastic pins. The birds in the neighboring avocado tree were squabbling, the winter sun felt like honey on my skin, and in a state of deep relaxation, I began to dream with a pen in hand.