A Writer’s Life – Some Ideas

Just so you know, Whisper in the Shadows is free in eBook until 29th April 2023 11.59pm PST.

It’s No1 in the ‘Horror Short Story Collections Free on Amazon UK’ Bestseller list as I type, so I guess that I am officially a best seller of sorts.

As I have mentioned, Whisper in the Shadows is a collection of short stories with a slightly darker cast to them or perhaps a supernatural leaning. Eight of them were previously on my blog, though now have been moved to the eBook, and there are four new stories. It seems only fair that I give at least some value for money.

I thought that it would be a chance to talk about the inspiration of a couple of the new stories. Or, perhaps, make shameful admissions. I read posts about writers struggling to find inspiration, to find ideas and characters and places. I’m not one of those. I get mugged by inspiration. I have a list somewhere of dozens of plots, characters and settings. The actual writing is the thing that slows me down.

The short story First House on the Left was inspired by four houses in a row at a junction. I’m often stuck in traffic there, and I started to wonder about them. I couldn’t see any easy parking nearby, and I’m usually too rushed to park and walk for much distance, so I took a screen shot from Google Maps.

I checked for copyright, and as far as I can tell, as long as I don’t go overboard with the screenshots and credit Google Street View, this is okay. I’m definitely not trying to pass this off as my own work. It’s not only blatantly from Google Streetview but I can’t take pictures as good as this. Anyway, I’d be stuck in traffic here several times a week and wondering about these houses. Why were three boarded up and not the fourth? Who would own these houses and let them go to ruin? What would it be like to live in that last house when the others were boarded up? Would there be ghosts? I have no idea who lived there or anything about this terrace, but my imagination took over and the next thing I knew there were just over six thousand words of a supernatural story.

That was inspiration that grew over months. On the other hand, I was happily shopping at the supermarket with most of my mind drifting away as I tried to remember whether we needed breakfast cereal and I noticed a woman forget the coin in her supermarket trolley. As someone chased after her, I wondered if that was a failed attempt to get rid of an unlucky coin and the result of that train of though was that I forgot breakfast cereal but wrote The Coin. I had to go back to the shop, but I don’t regret it as I had a blast writing the story.

This is the final reminder that Dark Picture, Under Dark Hills and the stories associated with At the Fireside will be removed from the blog on 30th April. Dark Picture and Under Dark Hills are likely to be converted to novels after a serious tidy up, so watch this space.

I’d love to hear what you think, so feel free to drop a comment, thought or question.

Hugs and good vibes to all.

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