Edrei Cullen was home-schooled on a cargo ship, traversing the Mediterranean until her mother decided it was time to ‘socialise' the children. Edrei was 10 then, and already armed with a notebook titled ‘Strange Possibilities' based on her sightings of mermaids on the crests of waves and talking mice. The family took refuge in a battered port in southern Spain during a force-9 gale. She and her sister were swiftly enrolled in an international school. Wishing for a brother, Edrei did her best to convince anyone who would listen that her sister was a boy.
At 12 she was sent to a boarding school in Kent , England . It was very traumatic. Hope could only be found under the covers with her loyal toy dog, telling tales into the wee hours of magical folk who might save them from their plight.
At 13 she discovered a voice and refused to return. She was carted off to another boarding school in Spain . On went the school-hopping, until she left Royal Holloway & Bedford New College , part of London University , with an honours degree in French and Italian Language/Literature.
Inspired by Italo Calvino, Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton and Jean-Paul Sartre, Edrei wrote unexpected tales of tree-bound existentialists while reading film scripts for Miramax and looking after the rich and famous for the international Luxury Goods company Vendôme.
Frozen out of many a writing class because her stories were ‘childish', ‘a little too surreal' or just plain ‘weird', Edrei put down her pen and fell in love with a hairy Antipodean. She bore him two daughters.
She read them her stories to lull them to sleep. One was about a lonely little girl with skinny ankles and elf blood who spent time in chocolate factories and undertook spectacular adventures with a pixie.
When they were old enough to force their eyelids open in spite of the sandman's call and answer her in proper words, they asked her why she kept all her stories hidden in a trunk.
One day, the elder told Edrei that she had a friend whose mum was a publisher and that she should talk to someone who is a publisher because they make books happen. Words belonged in books, she explained, not trunks.
This inspired Edrei, so she did.
That's where this story ends and journey that is Flitterwig, Edrei's first novel, begins.