Sunday, 6 October 2013

The Birth of a Story

"What inspired you to write this book?" is probably the most frequent the question an author is asked. And the answer is that inspiration and ideas come from many sources. Ideas and possibilities present themselves daily and many authors record them in a journal for future reference.
I got the idea for THE PITMAN'S DAUGHTER when I travelled back to Durham County in the 1980's. I stood at the top of a hill I'd travelled down as a child in my dad's old Commer van and I was struck by the total change in the landscape. What was once a black expanse of slag heaps, heavy machinery tracks and coal mines was now a clean, green valley.
That's when I came up with the character, Rita, an ambitious girl determined to leave the poverty of the  street and find success. She ultimately discovers that she may have travelled far but the place and the people were always with her, drawing her back to face the painful memories she'd tried to leave behind.
At the time I travelled back there in the early 1980's a brand new outdoor museum was expanding its operations at Beamish, County Durham. Beamish is a "living museum"that recreates streets, townsites, mines and farms from the old days of the North East. Visit the "Pit Village" exhibit online and you'll see actual miners' cottages recreated from Francis Street in Hetton-le Hole, a school, a fish and chip shop, a band hall and lots more. Take a look inside the houses and you'll see exactly what Crag Street, the home of THE PITMAN'S DAUGHTER, was like.

IMPORTANT UPDATE!! On Wednesday October 9th, THE PITMAN'S DAUGHTER will be available FREE on Kindle FOR ONE DAY ONLY!!! If you've read the book already and enjoyed it, tell your friends about it. Spread the word!!