Tag Archives: Charly

Charly – Whistler, Canada

21 Mar

The 4 Chicks are pleased to present this Chick Story shared by an author mentioned in one of our very first posts – An Author, A Writer, What Am I? Charly has written powerfully and personally about her creative journey on her blog, www.theelementarycircle.wordpress.com, and there she also reveals excerpts of her upcoming fiction.

When I was nineteen, I lost both my parents to cancer in the same year.  I literally started my year with two ‘healthy’ parents, and ended it with neither of them.

As the eldest child, everything fell on my shoulders – selling the house, organising Mum’s funeral, arranging probate, and making sure my fifteen year-old sister was brought up in a manner my parents would have seen fit.

At the time I was at university, studying Law at Cambridge University.  I was on the path I had always deigned for myself.  Mum and Dad had never pushed me in a particular direction, simply instructing me that whatever I did in life I ought to be happy.

After four years at Cambridge, I decided a law career wasn’t me.  All those years I’d simply been saying I wanted to become a lawyer because it ‘sounded good’.  As a child I had always dreamed of becoming a writer, but then sensible ‘adult’ness came along and pushed that dream aside.

After Mum and Dad died at really young ages, it made me rethink the way I wanted to live my life.

My parents had met when my Dad was travelling around the world.  He was British, she was Romanian.  And so travelling and languages were quite literally in my blood.

Once I was done with academics, I decided to spend a year travelling around the world.  I planned a route across South and Central America, and spent the best part of eight months on the back of overnight sleepers and chicken buses, tracing my way across a continent in the cheapest possible manner.

It was on the back of these buses that I discovered my passion.

Long journeys soon became boring, and a story idea which had itched in the back of my mind finally began to fall into place.  I set to work committing the story to Word documents, and just four months later my first novel, ‘Flicker’ was born.  From there I found a literary agent, and changed my life plans completely.  I continued to travel, realising it provided me with the perfect head space to write, and took a job in a Canadian ski village as a nanny.

Since then I’ve written two more novels, the second of which is being submitted to publishers this week.

Writing is who I am.  It just took me a little while to realise.  And whilst technically I’m still a nanny, and not a high-flying lawyer, deep down I also know I’m a writer, and that, to me, is more important than monetary success 🙂

It’s the person I know my parents would have wanted me to be.

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