I wrote it in some small way to honour my sister, even naming the heroin, Celia, after her.
My sister was six years younger than me...a gentle, sensitive girl. I loved her to bits, we were very close.
In March 2005, we received the most awful news. My lovely sister was dead, murdered by her husband. He shot her in the head while she slept.
I will never forget that day, and I suppose in a way, The shadowed Valley is a constant reminder.
But writing the book helped me so much. I buried my grief within its pages. In a strange way, it kept Celia alive; even if only in my heart and imagination. I travelled with her through the shadowed valley...through the darkness and fear. She adored horses, so I gave her a horse, Sunrise to travel with.
I know in reality, she would never have coped in such a place, any more than I would. But my darkness and anger had to go somewhere. I had to find relief from my pain.
I'm so glad I wrote it, so glad for the God given idea. It took my mind off my grief, and channelled it into something worthwhile, something that honours my sister...keeps her memory alive.
Writing and publishing The Shadowed Valley, stirred my imagination, and the desire to write more.
But I know, that no matter how many books I write, or how much I improve in the years to come. The Shadowed Valley will always hold a special place in my heart...always remind me of my sister Celia.