Friday, 15 November 2013


Part 15: GETTING MOTIVATED

It’s really time I started writing my next book, all I need to do is get myself motivated. I am thinking about it, bearing in mind what I was told to do when I joined Crosby Writers Club so many years ago that I can’t count them on fingers and toes. But I haven’t forgotten the wise words of the experienced writers who told me to write about what you know, try and write every day, and ask yourself five questions: Who? Where? When? Why? and How?

I’ve come to the conclusion in the past couple of years, that a lot of readers like a series, so I’ve had the main character popping into my head now and again. We’ve met before you see.

She made her first appearance in LOOK FOR THE SILVER LINING, then she turned up again in IT HAD TO BE YOU and briefly she appeared on the pages of MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS. I wrote her into an earlier draft of my latest saga IT’S NOW OR NEVER, only to send her off stage because she wasn’t really needed, even to play a supporting role. But I’ve decided that now is the time for Irene Miller to take centre stage, along with a supporting cast.

So I have my who, and I have my where due to most of my sagas being set in Liverpool and its environs. The when is 1957, the year when Liverpool celebrated the 750th anniversary of the granting of its charter by King John in 1207.

To help with the why and the how - in other words the plotting, I’ve begun reading the research notes my son, Iain, typed up of the Fifties. I’m also checking out other stuff online. But I need a title so I googled Fifties Top Hits, or something like that, because it must be obvious to most of my readers that all the above titles come from songs.

I love singing and it amazes me that at my age I can remember the words of so many songs that I hadn’t thought about in years. Thinking about it, though, that’s not surprising because I learnt them off by heart through singing along with the wireless, especially when ‘Two Way Family Favourites’ came on. Then, of course, when telly came along, there was ‘Juke Box Jury’ and ‘Oh Boy!’ If I was really keen on a song I’d even buy the sheet music.

Those who were around at the time should remember Pat Boone’s clean cut features and relaxed style of singing romantic ballads. Remember LOVE LETTERS IN THE SAND? The title just seemed to leapt out at me and I thought: That’s it!

The beach near the Coastguard Station, nr Crosby: photographer John Francis

Now there are those who will immediately think There’s no beach in Liverpool. They wouldn’t be far wrong but most Liverpudlian kids of my age and younger will have memories of taking the ferry across the Mersey to New Brighton, where there was to be had not only all the fun of the fair but crabbing and paddling and the building of sandcastles to enjoy. But we didn’t even have to cross the water to find a decent beach because from Seaforth to Waterloo, through Crosby and north to Formby and Southport there was sand. If we could afford to go further afield then there was Blackpool, the Wirral and, of course, the joys of the North Welsh coast.

Yet one of the cheapest pleasures of all when I was a kid and my parents couldn’t afford the delights of the seaside was simply going down to the Pierhead and watching the ships go by.




Sadly not so many ships these days on the Mersey but the river is so much cleaner: photographer John Francis

I’m definitely starting to feel motivated to write but I still need to consider the WHY my heroine sets out on her journey and HOW she overcomes the difficulties that lie ahead.

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