Tuesday, 16 June 2015
Silloth and Ideas
Long-time readers of this blog will know that, when possible, I like to combine my work at crime fiction festivals and other events with some sight-seeing and research. At present, I'm in the midst of a flurry of festivals - three in nine days - but when en route for Carlisle last week, I thought I really must take advantage of the wonderful weather to have a look at the Lake District and also at a part of Cumbria that I hadn't seen before
I've wanted to take a look at Silloth for a long time. It's a proposed trip I discussed some years ago with Maxine Clarke- many blog readers will remember Maxine fondly for her Petrona blog. Maxine was a lovely person, who knew Silloth very well, and recommended me to go there. It's a little resort on the Solway coast, and it appealed to me in the way that old resorts usually do. As a bonus, you can look across the water and see the Scottish coast, not that far away. Whilst I was there, I thought back to my all too infrequent get togethers with Maxine, who died far too young. She is much missed.
Something unexpected happened whilst I was at Silloth. I'd been playing around with an idea for a historical story, and that was in my mind when I set off up the motorway. But whilst I was wandering along the promenade, an idea came to me - unbidden - about a new mystery involving Daniel Kind. This particular puzzle strikes me as a very suitable sub-plot for the next Lake District Mystery.
All authors struggle to answer the question "where do you find your ideas?" but my experience is that ideas often come when you don't try to force them. Holidays, when the brain relaxes, are an ideal opportunity for ideas to come drifting into one's head. And the same is true of trips like my visit to Cumbria. I certainly enjoyed my first sight of Silloth, and there's every chance that the place will feature in the next Lakes book as a result..And the same is true of another place I'll talk about tomorrow....