I think we all dream of achieving something in our life. Something that is special and a little different from the norm … if only we had the time, confidence or money to do it.
I had a dream, I wanted to write a book, although I never really thought that it would happen. As a young girl, I believed that writers were a different breed to me who spoke in literary phrases and were highly intelligent. I, on the other hand, was an unworldly girl living on a rural dairy farm in Cornwall. My dream remained with me, albeit dormant, whilst I concentrated on a nursing career instead.
My writing dream resurfaced in 2010, when I changed careers and moved to a house on the edge of Bodmin Moor. The barren landscape, with its remnants of Stone Age settlements and rocky tors, ignited my creative imagination again. It begged me to be the backdrop to a novel that demanded to be written. I realised that if I was going to attempt my dream of writing a book, it was now or never.
I wrote in secret, fearful that my attempt would end in failure. Every day, before I sat down to write, I would walk my dog on the moors. It felt as if the characters from my novel were waiting for me there, encouraging me to finish the manuscript and submit to agents and publishers, as I strolled through their world. If I gave up, their story would never be told and they would remain in limbo and that thought alone was the impetus for me to keep going.
That novel became The Captain’s Daughter and took the position of the second novel in my Cornish Tales series. The rugged landscape of the neighbouring Cornish moor, the tumbled down farmer’s building on the edge of a farm and the Cornish stone hedges were all key points on the dog walking route. They now play major roles in the novel, although sadly my dog, who was my constant companion during its creation, has since passed away.
My dream of becoming a writer has become a reality, yet strangely the most fulfilling part of achieving this dream is not what I expected. I was fast approaching my 50s when I confessed to my extended family and friends that I had written a book. My announcement surprised them and it was gratifying to know that at my age I still had the ability to shock the younger members of my family. They have become my greatest supporters and this has been a heart-warming experience for me. I hope that my achievement has taught them that one can accomplish a dream at any age. And what has my experience taught me? I have learnt that life is a journey with many paths to take. We decide which path to follow and, more importantly, when and how to walk it. The Captain’s Daughter was the result of one such journey. It was created in secret, but it was written to share.
The Captain's Daughter, published by multi award winning women's fiction publisher, Choc Lit, is out in paperback on 7 August and is available from all good bookshops, online stores and via www.choc-lit.com. It is the second in Victoria Cornwall's Cornish Tales series and follows The Thief's Daughter. The third book, The Daughter of River Valley has just been released electronically to all ebook platforms.
Cornish born and bred, Ms Cornwall is able to trace her own Cornish roots back to the eighteenth century. Her background and heritage has given her an understanding and knowledge of Cornish rural life that inspires her writing.