I thought I would share the inspiration behind my short story, 'Searching for a Jane Austen Hero', which is published in this month's Take a Break Fiction Feast.
My daughter and I have always shared a love of classic romantic dramas. In the year before she went to university (five years ago now) we were thrilled when we found out that a national newspaper was doing a special offer of a collection of British classics on DVD and of course I sent for them.
When they arrived - a whole stack of them - we were in heaven choosing which ones to watch. Luckily it was the long summer holidays (I was still a teacher then) so my husband wasn't forced to watch them. When he came home from work, he'd say, "What have you two been doing today?" and when we looked guilty, he'd shake his head and say, "Don't tell me... you've been watching britches films again!"
What can I say? It's true... we were obsessed!
The years passed and my daughter went off to university but when she came home for the holidays, we'd watch our 'britches' films over and over again (any wonder that a lot of my magazine stories are historical).
Boyfriends came and went (for my daughter, not me!) and then one day, after visiting her grandfather, she came home and said, "You'll never guess what Grandpa said!"
Apparently he'd told her that he was more likely to go to his own funeral that to her wedding and that she'd better get a move on.
"You'll have to take me to Bath," she said to me. "It's my only hope!"
I found this exchange so funny that I just knew I had to write a story about it. My daughter hasn't read it yet, as she's in Germany for a year, but when she comes home for Christmas I shall show it to her... in between watching britches films!
Also, this week, I am very pleased to have a story in The People's Friend bumper Christmas issue. It is a WW1 story about the ceasefire in the trenches on Christmas Eve. I wrote it last year but Shirley, the fiction editor, wanted to keep it for the this Christmas as it is the centenary of the Great War. I'm glad she did.
I think you'll agree, the illustration, by Mandy Dixon, that goes with it is simply stunning.
Finally, before I go, I am happy to tell you that I am a guest on author Natalie Kleinman's blog. Natalie's blog is very new, so it would be lovely if you could pop over and support her :)