Research Rampage

Scent of an Idea

I spoke with my daughter last night and one of the first things she said to me was, ‘Mom, it’s Wednesday tomorrow; blogging day.’ She is my biggest fan and my best motivator. Thanks, Alice!

Fellow blogger and author of Firestarter, Patsy Collins commented on last week’s post saying, “I make sure I spend time with friends and family - or research, as I call it!”  This is so on point.

Last summer, I visited my brother and his partner who live in the beautiful, historic town of Malvern. Incidentally my lovely writing friend also lives there, so I get to visit more than once when I’m back in the UK. I love it. I am always inspired and my writing head buzzes with excitement.

We sat on the terrace of a hillside bar, having a jolly good time, when something caught my eye through the wooden trellis that guarded us from the summer breeze. I pulled back the clematis that grew wildly up the windbreaker and peered through. Below, was the town’s cemetery. A golden hue crept along the gravestones as the sun was setting and a scene for a new story materialized. Being designated driver, my mind was clear and I noted down the sights, smells and sounds that gave the scene life.

The idea grew over the next few days and I returned to the town to carry out more research. The variety of architecture caught my eye. There is a medieval type looking gateway at the top of the town, Edwardian and Victorian style buildings and the Great Malvern Priory, which seems to be a mish-mash of ages, including Roman style pillars and arches. This town obviously has a lot of stories to tell and I couldn’t wait to start widening my research. Seven months on and my first mystery novella, set in a hillside town, is currently in its third draft stage.

Have you been unexpectedly inspired when visiting friends or family? Do you have a special someone who motivates and encourages you?

Comments

  1. Sounds like the story will have a vivid setting.
    Cool your daughter reads your blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's one cool gal :) Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  2. ahhhh...problem with being a hermit...I have to pull it all out of my imagination...thankfully, as my character Aran in my current WIP said..."I have a florid imagination."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure your photography influences the imagination too. Lovely to 'see' you Mac. Have a great week.

      Delete
  3. That sounds like a wonderful spark of inspiration. Congratulations on turning that idea into a story. It's great that your daughter cheers you on.

    ReplyDelete
  4. How wonderful. I'm always inspired when visiting family, whether it goes well or not! My husband and I try to take different roads when driving to visit family, so we're always seeing new things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ROAD TRIP!! YAY!! Love those - although being in Europe, our road trips are probably far shorter than yours. Have a great week Christine and thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  5. Hi Nicola - please don't send your mother to Chichester ... Anna's art work has gone ... and I went last year?! Such is life - getting to write takes its time.

    I also went to Malvern for the first time a couple of years ago - and was fascinated and bemused by the town ... it's a wonderful area .. and could definitely release a few secrets for us to wonder about and write about or thread in to stories and tales ...

    It's Patsy's birthday today ... and yes I can believe her research takes in family and friends and places ... cheers and so glad your mother was able to visit ..

    Cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tip, Hilary. Chichester will be put on hold :) So many secrets in Malvern - it's so fascinating to learn about. Thank you for popping by to comment. SHOUT OUT for Patsy: HAPPY BIRTHDAY PATSY!!

      Delete
  6. You're so right (and Patsy!). Real life is where the stories come from. I plotted Defying Reason while sitting on the beach and my new one coming out stemmed from a ghost walk on Ocracoke while on vacation. I suppose the mind is more fertile when it's relaxed (and sober, LOL).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) It's been four years since the hubby and I had a real vacation. We're both in need of a real break. I am pining for that beach you mention...aahh and a cocktail :) Thanks for popping by to comment, Elizabeth.

      Delete
  7. I think traveling is one of the best things a writer can do. I'm so inspired when I travel, and a few novels have resulted.

    My boyfriend is a great motivator, but so is my little writing group. I don't know what I'd do without them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Writing groups can be so positive. Thanks for popping over to comment. Lovely to 'meet' you.

      Delete
  8. My husband inspires me with regards to my novella series. They are off the wall silly and outrageous, which matches the fun times I have with my husband. I tend to talk things out and brainstorm with my sis-in-law, which will occasionally lead to inspiration. But that's the most my family impacts my writing. My settings are based in the rainforest, or desert, or thick forest... My family live in cities. :) Not much matching up there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So pleased you have a lot of fun as well as all the hard work, Loni. Thank you for your great comment. Much appreciated. Have a lovely week.

      Delete
  9. I don't get to visit friends and family much. But when I did go up to Michigan many years ago, I had a layover in Cleveland. The few hours I had to wait there, and the icy-cold wind (it was February) inspired the opening scene in 30 Seconds. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brrrrr. Extreme weather conditions are always provocative and get the imagination flowing. Thanks for popping over to comment, Chrys. Have a great week.

      Delete
  10. The book I'm publishing in April got triggered by me and a friend playing a computer game the whole weekend long. :-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like fun! Good luck with the launch!!

      Delete
  11. Moments like that do sound inspiring. A recent trip to the beach was my inspiration for the beginning of my fourth novel. And my hubby who never volunteers but always listens when I read my work aloud, (well half listens - most of the time he falls asleep) gives me great feedback. That is, when he isn't making jokes about my characters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing Yolanda and wishing you lots of success with your new novel!! I'm looking forward to reading it.

      Delete
  12. What a lovely post, Nicola. I'm a bit of a recluse, but I do go out for walks in our village and it never ceases to inspire me. The wild garlic is on the rampage at the moment and the village is divided on whether that is a good or a bad thing! I love the scent of it, but some people leave Bisley at this time of year to avoid it! The walking clears my mind and then the inspiration arrives when I'm back at my desk. Wishing you a lovely and inspiring week. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Joanna. I've never experienced the aromas of wild garlic in its natural environment but I'd love to breathe it in. I do however love the smell of baking garlic at home! Have a lovely week and a super April!!

      Delete
  13. Lovely post, Nicola, and isn't it great when your daughter is so supportive? Your outing sounds inspirational and I love the idea of your mystery novel!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We both have supportive daughters, don't we? :) It is great. Thank you visiting. Always lovely to 'see' you Rosemary.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Hello! So pleased you've popped by. I love to read your comments, so do leave one - even if it's just to say 'hi'!