near death experience, so I didn't want to go over that one again - it was terrifying but surprisingly didn't prompt any big changes in my life other than relief that I survived it. My marriage, the death of my mother when I was 19, the birth of each of my children - all have had an impact, and probably the most major.
But I've decided I want to talk about something that changed my life as an author and led me to write what I write. It might seem somewhat frivolous to some, but for the the eight year old me it was transformational.
Despite being a life long Whovian (my parents were fans, and I can remember the first episode I ever saw - Planet of the Spiders - when I was just three years old), until that point I had been writing fantasy. I was still in love with the elves of Tolkien, young Garion of the Belgariad saga by David Eddings, and the magic of the Shannara trilogy. Spaceships came a poor second to unicorns, and blasters to swords and magic stones.
Until the day I saw that opening. Everything changed. It was like being able to step into one of those alternative universes, where there were still knights but they wielded mind powers instead of magic and lightsabers instead of metal swords. I. Was. Hooked. I was also deeply in love with the main character - Luke Skywalker - a crush that is still with me to this day (though maybe not quite so deeply, lol). I wanted to be a Jedi, wield a lightsaber, convince my parents that it wasn't bedtime yet with my mind powers, and zoom around a galaxy far, far away in my very own X-Wing.
That passion has never left me. I switched from writing fantasy to a version of Star Wars, then onto space opera and scifi of my own. Though many years later I went back to my Whovian roots and wrote a time travel romance that became my debut publication, the thrill from that first view of Star Wars has never left me. I felt it again when I saw The Force Awakens at the cinema this Christmas just past - almost thirty six years to the day after seeing it the first time - with Disney staying loyal to the fanship by retaining the films iconic opening. Even thinking about the music and the script crawling up the screen can set me bouncing in my seat. It was the same excitement I felt when I was lucky enough to attend the three day Star Wars Celebration Europe in London less than a month ago, and where I got to see my childhood crush in person (even if I didn't get close enough for a photo).
Right now I'm reworking what I call my Star Wars story - Gethyon - having got the rights back so that I can re-release it in September. While it has elements from my time travel series to which it's connected, this is the one most loyal to my love of Star Wars: a young man who feels out of place in the universe, struggling to manage the powers he discovers and to face his responsibilities instead of running away. I can't wait to put it back out!
Somewhere out there may be an eight year old me who didn't get to see that film and have her life changed forever. I'm just glad that one isn't me!
Want to chat? Find me on Twitter as @pippajaygreen where I'll talk all things geek, books and chooks (and other things beside).