The Rook was born because I’ve spent a lot of time in extremely tedious meetings. And, once I’ve covered my notepad in absent-minded pictures of giraffes and cubes, I’ve been known to entertain myself by wondering how someone would react if they were suddenly dropped into my body. And then I have been known, on occasion, to pretend to be someone who was abruptly dropped into my body, and see how well I could pass. This may have earned me a few wary glances, but it keeps me entertained. I thought about it while pursuing my Master’s degree, and wrote the first letter in the book. And then I didn’t do anything else, except continue to pretend I’d been dumped into my body, sometimes. And then, on the last day of graduate school, I started writing more.
The summer after graduate school really built the foundations for The Rook. I spent three months in Providence, Rhode Island, house-sitting, working as a waiter, reading copious amounts of fiction, and writing what turned out to be The Rook. 247 pages in, my laptop crashed, devouring the only copy of the manuscript.
It was gone. Gone.
I stared at the screen, incredulous that the universe would do this to me. For 24 hours, I sat around, feeling like I was going to throw up. And then, hidden in the bowels of my computer, I found some automatic backed-up copy of it. I was limp with relief. I didn’t have a printer. I didn’t have a disk drive. Thumb drives were not ubiquitous then. I spent many hours frantically typing it out into another computer, petrified of turning my laptop off. I transcribed everything, and then I kept on writing. I moved back to Australia. I got a job working in a coffee shop. Then I got a job working in the Public Service. New Year’s Eve, I finished the first draft. I read it over, I made some changes. My Mom read it over. I sent it out to agents, and then Mollie Glick asked to read some more. And then things started happening.
I harbour gargantuan ambitions for future projects, for more books set in the Checquy, and for books that are completely unrelated. Current projects include a historical novel set in the Ottoman Empire, and a novel about assassins. Because assassins are cool.
I hope you will enjoy The Rook.
And, please, back-up your work.