Monday, 18 October 2010

A writer's life

A writer's life seems to be a series of journeys. Lately, all I seem to have done is travel. I love travelling. I was invited to Marple Hall School in Stockport, and was made so welcome and had such a lovely time. Underworld was part of the Booked Up Project last year, and it was great for me to see so many of the pupils clutching the book for me to sign. Also, Grass has been shortlisted for the Stockport Book Award, in one of the Key Stages. I won that award a few years ago with Dark Waters, and still remember the Oscar type ceremony we had for the presentation evening. Fantastic! I'm already receiving wonderful e mails from aspiring writers at the school. After Marple Hall, I moved on to Lancashire for the Shout About Books Festival. I love going there, once again the hospitality is so good, and I met so many lovely pupils and teachers and librarians and had a great time. I had given them a beginning for a story. I seem to be asked to do that a lot now, after the first line I gave to Tynecastle High which grew for me into not only a book, Out of the Depths, but also a series! Here's the beginning I gave to Lancashire. Any one can give it a try. See what you come up with.

  So, I took the shoes off a dead man. He didn't need them, did he? But if I had known the trouble they were going to cause I would have left them on the dead man's feet.

Just to give you a few tips, is the dead man a tramp? Homeless. Was he lying in the street, or in a house, or was he perhaps in a morgue? Was he someone the narrator knew already, or a stranger? And what kind of shoes were they? Special shoes, expensive shoes, running shoes? Had they something hidden inside them? Was someone going to come after them? Is that the trouble the narrator refers to, or could there be something else. When you take a beginning apart like that, you can see how your story can grow.  I am looking forward to seeing the entries from Lancashire. Who knows, maybe I might get another book out of it too!

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