This is a slightly bizarre one, but it only just happened this evening so I am still thinking about it.

I try to reduce-reuse-recycle. If I don't need something any more I try to find someone who can use it, since I hate throwing anything away. My friends know what a hippy vegan I am. Over the last year I have been going through old college and university folders of mine, scanning in essays and making notes of anything I could use in future books - such as some of my notes from my university astronomy course for sci-fi works, or psychology for thrillers, or sociology for books that touch on wider issues. At the end of it I had a pile of folders and dividers and plastic sleeves I didn't need, so I put them on my local swap shop groups, in case they were useful for anyone. I got a message pretty quickly, this one below, from a kid at a local secondary school. Though things went in an unexpected direction shortly after.

The image below is what followed. It left me kind of shocked, since it is the last thing I expected!

What's weird is that my audience is not schoolkids but adults, especially for the literary and horror stuff. But maybe some of my books cut across reader groups well, and perhaps Lost Solace has YA elements too (though I am pretty sure there will be a swear word in there somewhere!) Anyway, it made my day, discovering someone who had read one of my books via something totally unrelated! And that's in addition to other nice messages from readers recently.

Oh, and luckily I had two print copies left that hadn't been sent to book bloggers yet, so I gave him a signed print copy. The boy's dad was a taxi driver and was parked opposite my door while the kid got out and knocked - and when I handed the boy a copy of my book his dad leaned forward and gave me a big thumbs up and grin, out of the kid's line of sight.

How it all began.
I love how some stories have such innocuous or innocent beginnings.
Then characters surprise us and take it in new directions.