At twenty-two, I was still a baby. I had no idea who I was , or what I wanted to do with my life. I’d just finished university and was killing time working in a London estate agency, drinking too much and trying to figure out what I was supposed to do now that I’d finished learning stuff. What I didn’t get, of course, was that my education had just begun.

The year I turned twenty-two was the year I realised that the love of my life would never love me back (sob), although we were building a friendship that would last a long time. It was the year I decided my degree had been fun but it wasn’t something I wanted to pursue further. And it was the year I finally read Pride and Prejudice (OK, I may have watched it first) and decided that I wanted to be Jane Austen when I grew up. So I started writing (a thriller about some animal rights warriors who broke into a laboratory and unwittingly unleashed infected baboons on the world – sound familiar? They totally stole my idea for 28 Days Later) and faffed about with improbable Mills and Boon plots about sexy archaeologists. Then I found Jill Mansell and had the kind of epiphany that starts religions – I would write a romance and, lo, it would be good. It took me several years to do it, but I did finally finish writing that book.

So twenty-two really was the age that everything began. It was exciting, terrifying and sometimes fun. Would I want to be twenty-two again? Hell, no!


LIFE BEGINS AT 22 is a blorgy of sharing to celebrate the launch of BROOKLYN GIRLS by Gemma Burgess. Find out more about the book here and read more LIFE BEGINS AT 22 entries here.

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