Sunday, 15 April 2012

The Policeman Who Was Afraid of the Dark

This week I am celebrating the release of my new novel, which is also the title of this blog post, and I’m having a cocktail to celebrate. Cheers!

Where do you get your ideas? Do they take ages to smoulder in your head until they burst into flames and your hair is on fire? Or do you get a flash of inspiration and then forget about it because you are asleep, don’t have a notebook to hand or you’re just plain drunk? Is it a mixture of all of them, and like me you get the idea and then you have to work jolly hard at the rest of the story and commit yourself to a daily writing target to get the job done. And then have a cheeky tipple when it’s over.

I got the idea for ‘The Policeman Who Was Afraid of the Dark’ from a very minor incident, but it often happens like that. It was summer and it was time for taekwondo. I stood next to my policeman-friend and we were waiting to find out where our class was as it was exam time and the gym was being used. We were relocated into the Drama Studio and needless to say, someone had to shoot off and find the keys. It turned out that the door was actually open but, it may have been a while since you have been inside a school, being the drama studio it had black walls, curtains and the lights were off. It was pitch black and there were loads of switches on the wall further into the room. My policeman-friend held back and being the bossy-boots that I am, I bustled into the room and slammed on the lights. It was right at that moment that I thought about my friend, ‘he’s the Policeman-Who’s-Afraid-Of -The-Dark’ and a novel was born. It took lots of work, my poor policeman-friend was pestered to the brink as I wanted details about his work in the police, but the seed was sown and it grew into a full length novel. See, that’s a metaphor that is.

It was a similar story with the birth of my previous novel, ‘The Ghost Hunters Club.’ The novel first came about after the most God-awful date that any woman could hope to suffer. The character Stewart is based upon a real person. I would say man but that would be stretching it a bit. We flirted for months on Facebook, he was handsome, witty and had a good job. For a woman in her thirties, he was the dating Holy Grail. Eventually we met, it went well, we met again and well, what can I say? What an idiot. He was rude, he’d lied about several key things, his marital status for one, and he got very, very drunk. I don’t mean enjoying a recreational cocktail as I am known to, but so blindingly drunk I had to haul him across Leicester Square (he was 6’ 2”, I’m not) and according to the Facebook updates I saw, he spent the night on Trafalgar Square with a black eye and a lady of no fixed abode and her supermarket trolley.
So it was in the taxi cab, with my blisters and the aroma of vomit (yes dear reader, he was that disgusting), that the first idea for The Ghost Hunters Club was born. I had a lot of fun writing that one and you should see what I did to Stewart at the end of the story!

I've appeared in two interviews this week: 

Beth Wilson for:   Art Fist
Julia Hughes's blog:  Author! Author!

You can download The Policeman Who Was Afraid of the Dark by clicking on the link below. Or if you would rather find out what I did to Stewart in The Ghost Hunters Club, the link is at the right side of the blog.

The Policeman.. Amazon UK

The Policeman... Amazon US


  1. LOL! Love it! And we sadly do remember our tiny but black drama studio in high school. The corridor outside it always flooded so there were no tiles and a teacher had to stand guard on rainy days. Which Wales has a lot of :D
    We're looking forwards to release day tomorrow and will have Amazon on standby for downloading it.

  2. It takes the smallest thing to spark a story doesn't it? I used to worry about not remembering story ideas but I've had so many over the years, that I try not to worry if I forget them.
    Do you find though that you can have many story ideas, but only a few actually are good enough (when you look at them in any detail)?
    Also I can have several ideas that I know would make a good story, but in fact only a few ever excite me enough to want to pursue them. And I think without the excitement, the book will never get written. What do you think?

  3. Thing with me is, I get a story idea and then I forget everything else in my life. I walk to work thinking about it, I cross the road thinking about it, I walk into walls thinking about it, ouch!

  4. Another great blog. It's always good to find out the story behind the story. My book all started because an Italian cad (can't believe I just said cad) was lying to me online many years ago and my Dad found him out by posing as a blonde Polish chambermaid online. The seed was sown and it grew from there. It's the strangest things that can start you off, isn't it? Best of luck with the new book, I can't wait to read it! It's going to be one of my sun-lounger reads next month ;) x

  5. I heard a quote from a more popular author than me to the effect that if you have to write it down, it's probably not a good idea for a story. Or something. Who knows. I recall thinking it sounded like a dick thing to say. But actually for me it's about right. And yes, it's always the weirdest, briefest things that spark creativity. Thanks for the post :)

  6. Good luck with your book. I shall check it out when I have a bit more time. I shall be following your writing career closely as your books sound wonderful. I've check out your short stories too.

  7. Thanks for the support Jarmara, hope you enjoy my stories :-)