The mysterious nature of the source of inspiration and ideas for writing is a constant subject for debate – especially, perhaps, among those who do not write. Those who do write are probably just thankful that ideas do come to mind, and don’t spend a lot of time analysing where they spring from. Such analysis can be fun, though, if it isn’t overdone.
‘Where do you find ideas?’ is such a common question at book talks that I once wrote a short story with that title. It’s not a very well known story, but I much enjoyed putting it together – and it became the title story in my one - and so far only - collection of short stories.
When I told Margaret Yorke I was featuring The Small Hours of the Morning in this blog, she told me: ‘my plan was to have a sort of La Ronde where each character linked to the next one going in a circle and also the heroine had no physical contact with a soul, not a touch..I must read it, don't remember the details’
I was very interested in this. The La Ronde idea strikes me as a very good one. And I wasn’t in the least surprised that Margaret didn’t remember the details of a book she wrote 35 years ago. Non-writers may imagine that writers retain in their heads all the nuances of books they have written, but it simply is not so. I forget some of the aspects of my early books, that’s for sure. But it can have a positive effect. When Suspicious Minds was finally published in the US, more than 15 years after it was written, I re-read it and was, oddly enough, very pleasantly surprised! It seemed to have rather more merit than I’d remembered...