Where do you find your writing ideas? We welcome Sue Barnard to the blog to tell us how she finds hers.
I’ve often said that I get some of my best writing ideas when I’m gardening. I’m convinced that mycharacters like to hide themselves away in the flowerbeds, then leap out and surprise me when my attention is focussed on greenery, grass, or garden pests.
So it was with the idea for my latest novel, Never on Saturday, which is released on 9th February 2017.
A few years ago, whilst on holiday in Western France, I came across an old local legend. It was the story of a cursed medieval princess who was forced to lock herself away every Saturday, but was unable to tell anyone the reason.
This princess also locked herself firmly in the back my mind, and shortly after I arrived home she reintroduced herself – in the time-honoured tradition of interrupting me when I was mowing the lawn.
Our encounter was short but sensational. The princess said just six words to me, but those six words were to go on to inspire an entire book.
Never on Saturday is a time-slip romance novella with a hint of mystery and a touch of the paranormal. It is set partly in medieval France and partly in present-day North Wales, and incorporates some of the history and folklore from both places. The original French legend forms the basis of the medieval passages, whilst the modern sections provide a framework which links the legend to the present-day characters.
Researching a story is always a fascinating exercise, but this one was absolutely compelling. Delving into the history of the paranormal aspect of the tale in general, and the legend itself in particular, were things, which I found especially gripping. So much so, in fact, that I was moved to include a short article at the end of the book, giving more details of the original legend and its place in history and folklore as a whole. I hope people will enjoy reading Never on Saturday as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
About Never on Saturday:
Two stories, two heartbreaks: one past, one present…
Leaving her native France and arriving in North Wales as a postgraduate student of History and Folklore, Mel is cautiously optimistic that she can escape from her troubled past and begin a new and happier life.
She settles into her student accommodation and begins work on her thesis, concentrating particularly on one fascinating manuscript: a compelling and tragic tale of a cursed medieval princess.
Then she meets Ray – charming, down-to-earth and devastatingly handsome. Within days, Mel’s entire world has transformed from lonely and frustrated to loving and fulfilled. Despite her failure with previous relationships, she allows herself to hope that this time, at last, she can make it work.
But Mel’s dreams of happiness are under constant threat. She is hiding a dark and terrible secret, which Ray – or indeed anybody else – must never ever discover…
As for those six words which sowed the seeds of inspiration for Never on Saturday… Well, unfortunately I can’t reveal them here, because that would give too much away. But if you read the book, all will become clear…
Sue Barnard is a British novelist, editor and award-winning poet whose family background is far stranger than any work of fiction. She would write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.
Sue was born in North Wales but has spent most of her life in and around Manchester. She speaks French like a Belgian, German like a schoolgirl, and Italian and Portuguese like an Englishwoman abroad.
Her mind is so warped that she has appeared on BBC TV’s Only Connect quiz show, and she has also compiled questions for BBC Radio 4's fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz. This once caused one of her sons to describe her as "professionally weird." The label has stuck.
Sue joined the editorial team of Crooked Cat Publishing in 2013. Her first novel, The Ghostly Father (a new take on the traditional story of Romeo & Juliet) was officially released on St Valentine's Day 2014. Since then she has produced three more novels: Nice Girls Don’t (2014), The Unkindest Cut of All (2015) and Never on Saturday (2017).
Never on Saturday (paperback):
Never on Saturday (Kindle):
Thank you Sue and good luck with your book.
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