Elaine Forrestal

Some Stories Know Best

Mark Greenwood, author of The Book of Stone, illustrated by Coral Tulloch

Some stories are as old as time itself and have their own ideas about how they want to be written. A friend of mine has had a story in his head, probably since he was a child. But how to write it? He had always loved stones, but given the infinite number of books about stones how could he do it in a way that no one else had? He went on and wrote other stories. Many other stories over a long period of time. His stories were loved by readers. Some of them won prizes and he became a well known and successful author. He still hadn’t written the stone story. But it had not gone away. It was always there. In his mind and in his imagination it was bubbling along quietly, patiently biding its time.

Much research. A studio full of examples. Stones and books about stones of every imaginable size, shape and colour were accumulating in his writing space. And the words were accumulating too. Discussions with friends, colleagues, even strangers took place. Then a chance meeting and an almost despairing remark to a young fan. ‘I think I’ve worked out how to write the stone book now, but I’m worried that no one will want to read it.’ And the immediate response, ‘I will.’

Of course it wasn’t as easy or as simple as that. But sometimes a connection like that, the thought of even one fan, one like-minded person waiting out there for a special book, is enough to keep us going. Enough to convince us it is worth another try. We are all grateful for your perseverance, your knowledge and your insight. Thank you Mark.