Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Like Father Like Son - Read My Story in the People's Friend Fiction Special


A double inspiration post today as I have been lucky enough to have stories in both The People's Friend and The People's Friend Fiction Special.

I'll start with my story in the special, 'Like Father Like Son'. In the town where I live, we have a local newsagents. It is small and sells papers, magazines, sweets, cards and the odd toy or two. The shop is often staffed with young people and whenever I go in, there are usually a couple of people in the queue in front of my at the counter.

One day, a few months ago, I was in the shop and there was an elderly lady in front of me. She was rather baffled by her paper delivery account and had trouble finding the right change in her purse. Behind the counter was a young lad, maybe eighteen or nineteen and I was struck by how patient he was: explaining carefully what the lady owed and helping her with the coins.

There were others in the queue, but the young man didn't rush the customer and made sure that she was happy with everything before moving onto the next in the queue.

I remember thinking how proud I would be if I was his parent - especially in a time when youths often get a bad name. I told my daughter when I got home and said, 'That boy was made to be a shopkeeper' and that got me thinking about the pressure young people have on them to go to university - feeling that they haven't succeeded in life if they don't. I knew it was a story I had to write.

I've no idea what happened to the young man - I haven't seen him in the newsagent for a long time and I wonder... did he go off to university? I'll probably never know.


My story in this week's People's Friend, 'For Eyes Only' was inspired by a little yellow beetle car that drove past me one day. I thought to myself, 'That is a car you would either love or hate', which led me to think about how embarrassed I would have been as a teenager if my mum had owned a car like it. This was the seed of my story. The James Bond theme, that is intertwined, came about because when I wrote the story, the new Bond film had just come out and it was all over the news and on the radio.

I wondered if any of the bond cars had been little yellow cars, did my research and - hey presto - found that Roger Moore drove a car just like the one I'd seen in 'For Your Eyes Only'. Good fortune or what!

I won't be blogging next week as I shall be relaxing on a canal boat but I have a story in next week's People's Friend as well, so look out for it. I shall write the inspiration for that when I come home.

17 comments:

  1. My Special arrived a couple of days ago, and I noticed your story was first! I'm saving all the Special stories for the weekend when I can relax. Have a lovely time aboard the boat. x

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    1. Yes, I was honoured! Thanks, Joanne, I'm really looking forward to it.

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  2. More great success, Wendy - love the story behind the stories! Have a lovely week - I'll be away too - on a different type of boat.

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    1. Thank you, Rosemary... I'm guessing a cruise?

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  3. Well done on all those stories!

    My mum had an embarrassing orange car once. I'm still traumatised.

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    1. I can't even imagine an orange car, Patsy!

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  4. Congratulations on your stories, Wendy. Enjoy the canal boat - how lovely!

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    1. Thanks, Amanda. Have read that the weather should be fine so am looking forward to a relaxing holiday... unless Bonnie misbehaves of course!

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  5. Double congrats Wendy. I know the newsagents and they are so patient and helpful, what a lovely story too.

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    1. Thanks, Tracy. You must have been served by that guy too at some time - how strange to think that they are selling a magazine with a story written about them and they don't know! Hope you're having a good time at Swanwick.

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  6. Well done, Wendy! Btw I went through a phase of having 2CVs. Many people can't stand them. I LOVE them!

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  7. They were really popular around the time I was at university.

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  8. Blimey, Wendy - congrats on so many successes. Have a lovely break - and try to get some rest in between scribbling down your next story idea! x

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    1. Thanks Jenny - nice to be sharing the pages of the special with you. I intend to have a writing free week.

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  9. I love hearing how stories come about :o) Hope you have a lovely trip and come back with more inspiration!

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    1. The trip is brilliant, thanks Karen. Will blog about it when I'm back

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