This is my very first Blog piece for ABBA so firstly, and most importantly, hello! How are you? It’s very good to meet you. You look lovely today. I do hope 2016 is treating you well so far? Oh, that's good to hear.
Right, now we’ve got the preliminaries out of the way I’m going to talk to you about writing and books because I am completely obsessed with stories.
People always say to me – where DO you get your ideas from?
Now, I know lots of writers say ‘Well I just have hundreds of them floating around in my head’ or ‘I’ll see something interesting in the street like a man with nostril hair that reaches his toes or a window with KEEP OUT- CRIME SCENE on it and I’ll think - what happened here? What’s this story?’
I am not one of these types of writers.
Nor am I one of those Inspiration Strikes types either.
I’m more of a tear your hair out, eat your computer, search for cake type writer.
BUT there is one place I can (almost) guarantee I will find a story and luckily enough I live right next to it. The Sea! Or more accurately the sea and the land near to the sea.
I am enormously fortunate that I get to take my dog Watson Jones to the beach every day and I find so much inspiration there.
I collect this stuff by the bucketful.
And, guess what? I’m working on a YA novel called…*Long Dramatic Drum Roll*… ‘Seaglass’.
I found this Victorian boot washed up on the shore. At first I thought it was a replica but the sole is made of metal and held on by tacks and people, who are much cleverer than I’ll ever be, have verified that it is indeed the real thing. When I found it I’d been working on a YA called ‘Gaslight’ which takes place in Victorian Cardiff and is largely set in the docks so I see this boot as a sign from The Great Ocean God Of Writing that I’m on the right path!
My first published book came out on World Book Day last year. It’s called ‘Elen’s Island’. I bet you can’t guess where it’s set? Or who the main protagonist is? Answers on a postcard to ‘Obvious, Wales’ if you please.
I’m not the only person to take inspiration from the sea – shame really, it would do wonders for my book sales – nor even the only person to take inspiration from the beach outside my garden.
Sharon Tregenza’s brilliant MG mystery ‘The Shiver Stone’ takes place in Saundersfoot (the lovely town where I live) and as well as being a tip top read the cover practically shows my house!
There are also superbly ace and cool books about surfing dudes and dudesses that I would never be able to write in a million years because I am so far away from cool I can’t even see it in the distance. If you want that sort of YA brilliance try ‘Blue’ and ‘Air’ by Lisa Glass.
Or if you like the magical, compelling mystery kind of YA then I thoroughly recommend ‘Deep Water’ by Lu Hersey which won the Mslexia Children’s Novel Writing Award. It’s a fantastic read and I love it BIG TIME!
Anyway that's where I get my ideas and it seems that lots of others do too but more importantly, if YOU write, where do you get yours?
Are you inspired by the sea? What’s your favourite sea story? There are so many different types out there! What sort of story would you write about it?
Perhaps your sea story will be the next one on the shelves. I certainly hope so. I could do with another good sea story to read! Hopefully while I'm lying on a beach next to this kind of gorgeousness! Ah - remember the sun?