My name is David Simson.

Jewel Agenda
is my first novel and the first in a trilogy.

It has had a long gestation. When I was at school, my favourite subject was always English Language and I loved being given the first line of an essay and then having to write a story off the back of it. This passion for writing was something that stuck even though, after leaving school at sixteen, I didn’t get much chance to use it.

Then, two years later, during a particularly thought provoking lunch break I had an idea for a novel. Back then, only businesses had computers so to write, all I had available was lined A4 paper and a pen. I then wrote about 25 sheets (50 sides) by hand and developed four of the primary characters in the process. I then stopped writing it and the project seemed to fade.

The reality was I had been distracted by owning a car, travelling and socialising. It was
September 1982.

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My desire for travelling took on a whole new dimension at the end of 1989 when I moved to Australia to live. My first job was in Melbourne and I stayed there for eighteen months before moving to Sydney for over three years.

When I wasn’t working, I was driving. This gave me first-hand experience of the real country, not the tourist image portrayed by travel agents. During my travels I met real Australians with their blunt humour, intense camaraderie and undisguised passion for their truly beautiful country.

I loved Australia so much that when I had the opportunity to become a citizen, I grabbed it. It is something I am immensely proud of and the country is so much a part of me so it was only natural that when I finally came to start writing again, it would feature strongly.

Returning to the UK, I then did what most people do. I bought a house and got married. My wife and I lived in Worcester for over fifteen years before we moved to Yessell Lane, just outside Charlton, in March 2010.

By now, personal laptops were common – I even had one of my own. In 2012 my father died and his loss served as a catalyst for me. I wanted to write the book I’d started thirty years earlier.

I managed to find my handwritten A4 sheets and transferred these into a Word document. It was just over 20,000 words long. From that point onwards,
Jewel Agenda became something real. The escapism of writing it following my father’s death was therapeutic. The primary characters became real personalities to me which I built on and developed as I wrote the manuscript.

The first three chapters are virtually unchanged from when they were first written in 1982. The other twenty nine chapters have all been written since 2012. Australia was never intended to be part of the original storyline but following my experiences, the country became the focal point of the whole plot and all of the locations quoted are places I have visited.

Although
Jewel Agenda had a very long gestation, the sequel, Jewel Intentions, is coming along at a much faster pace. I have written over half of the manuscript in nine months and it will be published in 2017

David Simson