I’ve worked at a number of temporary jobs, some good, some bad, some I couldn’t run out of quickly enough and others where I’ve made amazing friends. I’ve managed to use many of my experiences in my writing (one character in The Vampire’s Bodyguard’ is a culmination of all the horrid people I’ve worked for, including one who said ‘I’m not going to bother to learn your name as you won’t be here long enough for me to use it!’ I was offered a permanent job and went on to become her manager). During one particularly unpleasant assignment, I wrote this poem.
My collection of short stories, Weird Wild, was published on 20 March 2014. The first story I wrote for it was called ‘The Lake’ and was written as part of an online writing challenge. I didn’t know then what it would grow into!
I’ve always loved the woods. There’s nothing more relaxing than walking through forests, unless you’re being chased by a werewolf! We’ve visited forests in the UK, including ‘Wistman’s Wood’ in Dartmoor, as well as rainforests in Latin America and Asia and all helped inspire ‘Weird Wild’, with creepy mists, crooked trees and hidden dens.
The Stone Circle in Weird Wild is definitely inspired by my love of archaeology. I love Stonehenge and have been fascinated by stone circles, both in terms of what they tell us about our ancestors, but also the more mystical elements. My logical, scientific brain (and a number of my tutors!) debunked the idea of ley lines but there’s still something magical about these stones. Who’s to say they aren’t portals to the fairy realm?
How pretty are bluebells? It was an annual tradition growing up to visit ‘Bluebell Woods’ and see them when they bloomed each spring. I was fascinated to learn some of the more nefarious uses of this beautiful, if deadly, bell. I’d also never claim to be a poet, but the poem for Weird Wild was written fairly quickly, the voices and the bells ringing clearly.
So many beautiful lakes inspired ‘The Lake’. Whilst Lago Roja in Bolivia isn’t surrounded by trees like the lake in Weird Wild, the stillness and sense of isolation crept into the story.
Out in the wild!
As always, any sticky plot points were worked out during long walks. There’s something about being outside which definitely clears the fog and helps the writing process.
You can get your copy of Weird Wild from Amazon, or contact me below for a signed copy!
We have an annual festival in Exeter called the ‘Respect Festival’ which celebrates the city’s diversity. Way back in 2012 I’d help set up ‘Resident Writers’ and we did ‘flag poetry’ The idea was that there were different words written on the ‘flags’. Everyone was given five flags, and then had the option of adding three more words to create their poem.