|St George's cabinet|
Many of the books I’ve written had a definite moment like this. The Crimson Bed was inspired when I came across a beautiful cabinet with William Morris designs painted on it which led to a Pre-Raphaelite setting about Victorian artists and their lives and loves. The cabinet eventually turned into an Elizabethan bed, but the PreRaphaelite theme stuck.
|Start Point Lighthouse, Devon UK|
In the case of my latest novel, Middle Watch, the beginning came one day over a cup of coffee with a local friend who often regaled me with fascinating and highly dramatic tales of her life. As a child, she contracted the dread disease of the Fifties and Sixties - polio - and still had problems with her leg but had overcome the disability to a great extent. Now she was able to walk, drive, had even been surfing. This lady had already related how she had been fostered as a very young baby by a naval friend of her father’s, when his suicide left her an orphan, her mother having already died in childbirth. On this coffee occasion, she mentioned that eventually, her foster father left the Navy and they went to live in a lighthouse in the South of England for a while. This, together with other descriptions of her peculiar childhood – which was anything but a happy one – led to my starting Middle Watch.
|Stormy sea with Lighthouse|
Karl Edward Ferdinand Blechen