Sunday, May 14, 2017
Help from the little people...by Sheila Claydon
So here I am in Australia again, visiting family. We've spent so much time in Sydney over the past few years, and have so many Australian friends, that it's beginning to feel a bit like home. Visiting, socialising and taking care of our little granddaughter does interfere with the writing of course, but not as much as you might think.
Take 'Remembering Rose,' Book 1 of Mapleby Memories. I started that while I was helping to care for my then 6 month old granddaughter, and finished it when I returned home. It's a time travel romance but guess who one of the main characters is? Yes, a small baby! It wasn't intentional, nor is the fact that Book 2 (so far only half written) features that same baby starting school, something very integral to the plot. And what did I do today that might influence how I write about that? Well I took my now 3 year old granddaughter to breakfast at her daycare nursery to celebrate Mother's Day (Grannies and other women special to the children always included) and sat with what seemed like a hundred tinies on mini chairs at a mini table - so watch out for something similar down the line in one of my books, maybe Book 2!
Why do we write what we write. Well for me the idea for a book is usually prompted by a chance remark or a newspaper article, or even by noticing someone or something when I'm out and about. How I weave that into a story is an entirely different matter however, and my eldest granddaughter (now old enough to read all my books and be my number one fan) tells me that she can recognise herself and her sister in some of the earlier ones. Well not them exactly, but their behaviours and comforters. She's absolutely right and yet none of it was intentional.
It is true that whatever and wherever the setting for a story, we still include what we know and experience, although to allay any suspicions my husband might have if he reads this (unlikely) I hasten to add that the romance is all imaginary:) No experience there at all!!!!
Several of my other books feature children, including 'Empty Hearts' which will be published later this year. The only difference is that this one is a vintage, written and first published in the eighties, so the little boy in it must have been based on my own children!!! Sorry about that guys, but a writer does what she has to do:)
While I am editing that and finishing Book 2 of Mapleby Memories, there is always 'Double Fault' if you like family stories. That also has children at its centre, and how!!!