I often get asked why I decided to write the 999 book. As is often the case with decisions that we make in life there was more than one factor that influenced me.
I had attended a fatal stabbing of a young person that summer; the escalation of knife crime and senseless loss of life concerned me deeply. I felt that I wanted to do something, in particular I wanted to reach out to young people and try to help them realise the damage that carrying a knife can do. I didn’t have a clue how I would tackle this and had no specific plan in mind, but a week or two later fate intervened.
One morning while finishing up a meeting with an Emergency Department Consultant, she said to me “I must dash, I have to meet a young man who works for a charity that addresses knife crime, one of our doctors is going to do some work with him.”
I couldn’t believe my luck, so I asked her to mention me to him, tell him that I was keen to do some work and pass on my contact details. Later that day Sean (from UNCUT) phoned me and we arranged to meet. We came to the conclusion that a ‘case study’ of my experience at a fatal stabbing would be the best way for me to contribute. I wrote the passage that I now use at the UNCUT assemblies. During this time people would often say to me things like “oh you must have loads more stories where that came from” … and it got me thinking.
I have a dream…
Anyone who knows me will know that I harbour a deep passion for all things Italian; I can feel you wondering already –- what has this got to do with writing a book? Bear with me though; you see I have had a little fantasy for a long time now. It involves buying a property in Italy — a farmhouse or ‘rustico’ — with a bit of land and doing it up. The purpose of this would be to have somewhere where ill and disadvantaged children could come for holidays. I feel that my nursing and ECP experience would come in to their own in this setting. To this end, I have been learning Italian and making connections in the area where I imagine that this may come together. The main stumbling block for this vision is obviously money! I saw the book as a possible way of raising a deposit at least.
If any of my teachers at school do remember anything of me, I would put money on the fact that their lasting opinions about me were rather less favourable than those bestowed on many of my friends. As I skipped off into the sunset to join the circus with two CSEs and an O level in English, I can imagine them thinking “it’s all going to end in tears!” I doubt any of them would have seen me sticking out the circus for four amazing years or even as a potential nurse/paramedic and writer of the aforementioned book. If I am perfectly honest neither would I; but I decided to give the book writing a bash anyway. Then John Blake the publishers went for it and people bought it, so that goes to show that someone like me can write a book and there is interest in the subject matter.
Calling Mr Craig …. Calling Mr Craig …
However, I was perhaps a little too naïve and over optimistic in my dreams of raising the deposit through the book; I may have almost raised enough to buy a nice table and chairs though! I guess I just have to wait for the movie for the big money to come rolling in! I’ll happily play myself to save money — I wonder if Daniel Craig will be available to play my love interest?