I’m sure that a lot of writers wince when they read through their early work, and are glad it was never put in front of the public. But I think it’s helpful to developing writers to let them know that we were once in the same position that they are. You don’t come into this world ready to write, with the skills needed to churn out a book as soon as you feel like doing so. You have to work hard, play around with styles and forms and ideas, and find your way. You learn and grow only by trying and failing, making mistakes and writing poorly. The following pages are piss-poor, but without them, I couldn’t have taken the story forward and developed it the way I did. These rough, rushed pages were the foundation stones for everything that followed.