The debut novel of author R. L. Waterman, A Year in the Life of Jack Meadows, hit the shelves earlier this year. Now you can find out more about the person behind the words.
My first short story was titled ‘The Dragon Who Ate Mens Botems.’
It took up three pages of my notebook, was riddled with mistakes and was written when I was in primary school. I loved reading and writing from a young age, and the fantasy genre captured my heart early and has been with me ever since.
I love to write, but it doesn’t come easily.
It’s 11am, I’ve already put out some laundry, cleaned the kitchen and tidied my work space. An empty document awaits me when I return to my desk. I absolutely love to write; I love seeing my characters come to life as a story takes on a mind of its own and weaves in and around their lives, but there are days when creativity and I don’t get on, and life’s distractions win.
I find inspiration in nature.
I was fortunate to grow up in Cornwall in the UK, a beautiful part of the world, and later to move to the outskirts of the New Forest in Hampshire. It is often in the great outdoors where I find my best ideas.
Or rather, my best ideas find me.
I’m often asked where the idea for A Year in the Life of Jack Meadows came from. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you. One day I picked up a notebook and wrote a chapter about a young man named Jack who looked at the world through very different eyes. That chapter didn’t make the final cut, but it birthed an entire novel.
I made a fundamental error with my first book.
It doesn’t fit into a nice neat genre. Every agent, every publisher, everyone in the industry told me I needed to write a book that fit a convenient mould, so it could be suitably promoted. Instead I wrote a novel which doesn’t fit into any kind of category, and which has been enjoyed by men and women, young and old.
I don’t have a background in creative writing.
In fact, I studied Computer Science at the University of Bristol.
Travel is one of my great passions.
During my university days I drove from London to Moscow. I’ve visited South America, Africa and many countries in Europe. There’s something about seeing new places, new people and completely different cultures that really excites me.
I’m moving to Uganda.
My husband and I are leaving the UK to work with a charity called Mission Aviation Fellowship. They take light aircraft, and use them to reach remote people groups who can’t be contacted any other way, bringing medical aid, helping to set up schools, and working with local churches.
Moving out of a comfortable life terrifies me.
But it excites me in equal measure. Living in Uganda will present different challenges to life in England. I’ll be immersed in a new culture, rather than passing it by on a short holiday. I will continue to write as I experience life overseas, but will also be involved in the work of MAF and other projects in Uganda’s capital city, Kampala.
I once had the chance to handfeed a lion.
I’m sure you’ve seen them, those competitions to win ‘the experience of a lifetime.’ I’d never won anything before but thought I’d enter anyway. I didn’t win the fabulous holiday, but I did win the opportunity to offer strips of meat to a hungry lioness. I don’t think I’ll be trying it with the wild lions in Africa somehow!
A Year in the Life of Jack Meadows is available for sale on Amazon - http://amzn.eu/fP3lczF. To follow R. L. Waterman’s journey to Uganda, visit her blog, www.dbwaterman.com, or find out more information at www.maf-uk.org/waterman.