For years I walked around with a novel in my head – ironically, it was not this particular novel, but anyway…
Periodically I’d snatch an hour or so, hole myself up with a spiral notebook and a pen (never a pencil or you waste too much time erasing) and write out bits and pieces, sometimes furiously scribbling out whole pages and chapters, other times only managing a sentence or two. Afterwards, I’d shove the notebook in the back of a drawer because I never dared to show anybody what I’d done because it seemed just… silly.
But then, I discovered the comforting anonymity of the internet. There, I could test the waters, post little snippets, have fun and no one would look at me like I had lost my mind. If folks liked what I had done, they were kind and encouraging, and if they didn’t – at least in the JAFF world – they didn’t rip me to shreds. I started out posting to strangers, but they didn’t stay strangers for long. My confidence rose, and as I came across others with the same passions as I had, I didn’t feel quite so crazy.
To End All Wars came about because I became interested in telling a story about World War I. After doing research for a study on the world wars for my son, it seemed that in most textbooks, due to the horrors that followed it, WWI had been reduced to a couple of paragraphs on Neutrality, the Lusitania and the League of Nations. It’s a pity, because the men who fought and died and endured such horrific conditions did so in the honest belief that they were fighting to, in fact, end all wars. In my story, I wanted to remember and pay tribute to those men – I can only hope I achieved it in some small way.