I’m often asked what inspired me to write “New Beginnings” and the two subsequent novels that make up my trilogy. People ask “What made you write it?” or “Where did the idea come from?” or, less often, “Is it based on real people?”
“The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can’t help it. ”
– Leo Rosten
It’s difficult to give a short answer, which I often feel that the enquirer expects, and I sometimes over-summarise in an attempt to keep myself from wittering on endlessly about how the story evolved.
Here on my blog, though, I’m allowing myself the luxury of wittering. Feel free to watch paint dry 😉
“What made you write it?”
Writing is something I’ve always enjoyed: it’s been a hobby since childhood. I’m always either thinking about or jotting down ideas, some of which grow into short stories or novellas, some of which remain as jottings, and some of which never get much further than the initial idea.
“New Beginnings” began as a short story, and kept growing!
“Where did the idea come from?”
The spark for “New Beginnings” was ignited by a combination of events –
- a friend lost her husband but found unexpected new love within months, much to her initial horror
- another friend became seriously ill and underwent some startling changes in personality, affecting close and peripheral relationships
- the lyrics of a song made me wonder about the personality behind the words
I began jotting ideas about that song-inspired personality, and Jamie came to life. He was always Jamie and, for some reason, he was always a Scot, despite the song having been written by an Irishman!
Once I’d sketched out Jamie’s life story, I began looking at Tasha – who in the early days was a Welsh girl named Hazel – and I gave her her own story. I then merged the two, creating a rough outline for “New Beginnings”, and began to write.
From the outset, I knew I had to tell the story from Tasha’s point of view: her voice was strongest in my mind, and I felt it would be interesting to speak from her perspective, particularly as there was so much going on with Jamie that she could only guess at, which is exactly what happens in a normal relationship.
The trilogy ended differently from the way I’d planned it, purely because that’s where the characters seemed to lead me. I’ve tried several times to re-write the ending, but the results have been unsatisfactory.
On the back burner at the moment is a fourth part of the story, told from Jamie’s point of view, and I’m also toying with the idea of rewriting the whole story from a third person’s viewpoint, just to round things out. We shall see.
“Is it based on real people?”
Yes and no. As I explained above, the initial idea for the story was prompted by life-changing experiences undergone by friends. I changed the details in several ways, so that Jamie and Tasha live through very different experiences, but they’re still events that affect many people the world over.