Monday, 25 August 2014

An unusual source for inspiration

I love stock photo sites. Even if I don’t actually need a photo for a book cover, I browse them just for fun. If I find a good photo for a future book, especially for my Two-Natured London series – because let me tell you, those similarly posing men are difficult to find – I buy it or save it for a future purchase.

Every once in a while the process goes the other way round. I find a wonderful picture that would make a great book cover and I immediately start to imagine the book I would write to that cover. Nothing ever comes of those books, usually because I dont have time to write all of them.

Nothing, that is, until now.

A while back I found a couple of beautiful photos that I knew would make a wonderful cover together. Seeing the cover in my mind’s eye, I knew exactly the book I would write. The best part was that I already had the beginning of that book. So I purchased the photos and even tested the cover I would make before starting with the script.

I realised pretty much immediately why I hadn’t finished writing the book. It wasn’t any good. But I had the cover and I wanted to use it. And the manuscript wasn’t hopeless. I liked the setting and the main characters. I simply needed to make the story work.

At first I tried weeding the bad parts out and rewriting the other parts, but that approach didn’t lead to anything. There was too much that needed rewriting. I had to face the fact that if I wanted to use those characters and setting, I would have to write a completely new book. So I did.

It Happened on a Lie is a short romance of a silly kind. And I do mean short and silly. It’s less than 25000 words long and has twists and turns to fill a much larger book. But I like it. It’s romantic and it definitely fits the cover. It’s perhaps a somewhat unorthodox way of writing a book, but I dont care.

The book is currently in the hands of my editor. I’ll share bits of it once I get it back. In the meanwhile, here is the cover. Don’t you think it’s worth a book?


  1. I once had an English professor/author tell our class that she wrote a short story based on a newspaper article. Your method of coming up with a story seems about the same to me! Does creative really have a defined source? More power to you for finding your own source of inspiration!

    1. True. I've been inspired by newspaper articles myself. It just seems like putting the cart before the horse to make a cover before the book is ready. :)