“So do all that live to see such times, but it’s not for us to decide. All that we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us” – J. R. R. Tolkien

Novels have an incredible power to stoke the creative juices and teach us what’s important. Even as a child, I always listened to audiobooks. This was convenient because my family moved around a lot, living in countries such as Wales, Dubai, Singapore and Thailand – all before I had turned fifteen, might I add. It was during the time my family was in the UK that I started listening to longer audiobooks. We stayed in London but the idea was to shift down to Wales and we did this in stages, Mum and I taking things down with us in the car whenever we visited what I deemed ‘the wet country.’

To help twelve-year-old me deal with the boredom of the long drives, Dad bought me the dramatised series of Lord of the Rings on audiobook. It had a holographic cover depicting the Siege of Helm’s Deep where the Urukhai were invading. It was good for an impatient twelve-year-old, who could not sit through the whole unabridged version of the book. It had all of the elements I felt a good book should have: action, adventure. Later on, I discovered that it actually had some notable actors in it, such as Bill Nighy playing Samwise Gamgee.
During those frequent trips from London to Wales, it was often just me and Mum. Lord of the Rings was a prerequisite for me and I always looked forward to the drives for this reason. I must’ve re-listened to it several times. The only problem was that it meant that my mum had a very quiet passenger. I would be listening avidly with our only interaction being when she would change the disc for me. I was not much company for Mum on those long journeys as I was busy in Middle Earth.

What these audiobooks did for me, and continue to do, is to inspire me to create worlds of my own. What I’ve decided to do with my time is to write, letting the creative process flow. God has blessed me with this awesome gift and I’m going to give the credit and the glory to Him.