Diana Wynne Jones
For my thirteenth birthday I got a typewriter. I loved its clunky mechanics and the artful complexity required to load it with interlacing sheets of foolscap and carbon paper. I wrote dreadful stories on it based almost entirely around a hero who was always too good to be true.
In my teens I read voraciously. And I’ll never forget the bittersweet pleasure of realising that there were only twenty or so pages of Diana Wynne Jones’s “The Power of Three” – the mixed emotions of feeling the width of the remaining pages dwindle to nothing. On one hand I wanted to finish the book – to devour all of its secrets, on the other I knew that once the final page had been turned reality would once more intrude and the magic of another first read would disappear forever. There was a wealth of children’s writing that furnished me with a more mature view of fiction. The hero was never perfect, the villain never entirely evil. So with my trusty typewriter I developed more realistic, although still fantastical words and worlds.
As adulthood approached I learned how to make a living. I wrote computer programs during the day which paid the bills, and wrote nonsense at night which fed my spirit. I sent some short stories off to Interzone and gained quite a rapport with the editors, especially Lee Montgomerie who was always very encouraging about what I sent, but never so encouraging as to publish anything. Looking back at my competition I can understand why.
In my thirties children took up most my time. But the rare moment of quiet would always be spent dreaming – conjuring words together to please myself and perhaps an avid fan of mine at bedtime.
And then I turned forty and the words began to explode onto the page. I had more time, and more focus and almost before I knew it I’d finished “Entering the Weave” A decades long process of idle thought and frantic life mashed together with my ever present desire to emulate the heroes of my childhood. So thank you Alan Garner, Susan Cooper, Lloyd Alexander, CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien and every other hero of mine.
The inspiration for “Entering the Weave” is a study in how a finished product can be entirely different from its initial conception.
I had two ideas. One was complicated and I eventually discarded it because it was too difficult. The other was simple and it gave rise to all of the concepts and ideas in the book.
The complicated idea was that the book would contain clues which could be deciphered and followed online which would open up an extra dimension to the story told on the physical pages. I had a few ideas for this but they always ended up getting in the way of the story…
The simple idea was that I liked the name Trinity Vale. It sounded quite mystical. A place where the dreams of all the living things on Earth might coalesce to form a natural virtual reality of memories. And this place, this Trinity Vale, would be an accessible heaven, a place where all our loved ones could reside forever.