Krystina Kellingley dropped in to see me this week. She has written a delightful children’s story about a mouse that adopts a cat. As well as teaching creative writing, Krystina, from Morecambe, has worked as a hypnotherapist, counsellor and a dream analysist.
She travels internationally to tutor in writing workshops and privately mentors new writers of adult and children’s fiction.
Here’s what she had to say:
“I was 11 when I first put grubby pencil to equally grubby paper and wrote a story after reading a girl’s comic book.
“In a fever of excitement I sent off my creative effort with a covering scribble and because it was a vastly different world back then, the long-suffering and extremely kind-hearted editor wrote back.
“His letter informed me that my idea was good but needed filling out and if I should choose to do this, I would be welcome to re-submit. Many years later, when both my sons were in school and there was nothing else to listen to except for the voice of a new character who seemed to have taken up permanent residence in my head, it was a novel that came about.
“I fell into first an agent and then a publisher. It was so easy – if I had put it into a story the reader would’ve said, ‘that could only happen in a book’. Unfortunately after a dream come true start, it all finished with a quack- quack-oops. I retreated back into my shell and quietly set about mopping up my shattered self-esteem.
“My eldest son, however, had other ideas and pressganged me into joining an Access to University course.
“Once more professional writing went on hold as university took over. I went to Liverpool John Moores. The tutors there were fantastic and soon had my self-esteem pasted back together somewhat. I left with a 1st Class BA in Literature, Life and Thought and Imaginative Writing. I was only the second person to achieve this distinction.
“I went on to gain an MA in Creative Writing.
“Then, what seems like a lifetime later, I found my little mouse, Mistflower. I was with a friend and we were driving along the A30. It was dark and I heard myself say, ‘I’ve got an idea for a children’s book’ and I told him the frame of the story. He loved it.
The rest, as they say, is history.”
Mistflower – The Loneliest Mouse is available from firstname.lastname@example.org.