Tag Archives: Devon

Writing Retreat Joy

old parchment map, showing a a sailing ship, with two crosses cutlasses on top and eight or nine gold coins scattered between them at writing retreat

Image by MasterTux from Pixabay

I went on my first a writing retreat some years ago, at the invitation of a kind friend. Several authors were involved. We went to a wonderful wild bit of the Devon coast, drank the pub dry of first rioja and then malbec and wrote up a storm.

The place had a small natural harbour, with a history, and the tiniest, most evocative museum imaginable. For a while, I think every one of us pondered a story about a dashing pirate.

Young woman in a knitted hat and outdoor clothes sits under an overhanging rock on a rocky cliff, looking out over and inlet, with wider sea to the horizon.

Image by Joe from Pixabay

And we sketched out the story of the girl our sailor left behind him, standing on the headland with her hair blowing in the wind.

It brought out my inner Bronte, anyway. And, as anyone who knows my reading habits will attest, that doesn’t happen lightly.

The wind was a fantastic new experience for me. So were the waves it drove crashing against the rocks to fling up fifteen foot of spray at high tide. It crept into the book I was writing at the time.

This was in spite of the fact that the story had no opportunity for pirate, Jane Eyre-model heroine nor even the sea before that writing retreat. Continue reading

The story began, but where? Liz Fielding puzzles

I began, but where? How? What was the inciting moment?

cover of Liz Fielding's Latest Book The Billionaire's Convenient Bride

Liz Fielding’s Latest Book
The Billionaire’s Convenient Bride

Every time I finish a story, I try to remember where it began, in this case to try and put my finger on the exact moment when The Billionaire’s Convenient Bride stopped being a mess of stuff in my head and began to be a story.

Sometimes it’s so clear.

I once saw a great house set high up in the woods as I was being driven to Cheltenham. I instantly pictured a woman standing on the doorstep. Angry, not wanting to be there. She had a wedding to arrange. The man who answered the door was expecting someone else so he wasn’t happy, either. And then there was the baby.

It took me a while to work out the why, the what happened next, but it eventually became The Bride, the Baby and the Best Man.

My new book began with Dora

Liz Fielding's new book began with Dora, the dachshund

I don’t usually add dogs to my books. That’s because, like babies and small children, you constantly have to remember where they are. Make sure they’re being taken care of.

This time, however, I found myself desperate for a dachshund. I have an entire Pinterest page devoted to them! I began buying stuff with dachshunds on them. Notebooks, socks, a Christmas sweater — they are, I discovered to my joy, everywhere. This is Dora. Continue reading