This has been a good week for magazine stories. I have two in The People's Friend Weekly (very unusual as they don't often feature a writer more than once unless it's in the Special) and one in Take a Break Fiction Feast.
It was as I was reading them again that it occurred to me that all three had been written following a holiday. Two from this year and one a while ago.
My first story in The Friend is called 'Welcome to Paradise' and I'll tell you a little about how this one came about. In May this year, my husband and I went on a fantastic holiday to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. For the second part of the holiday, we stayed in the beautiful village of Positano.
When we arrived at the beach around the headland, we were greeted by a young man from the local bar. 'Welcome to Paradise!' he said. We thought that was rather lovely and it amused us when we heard him say the same thing to everyone. If a group of pretty girls came down to the beach, he was extra attentive. I just knew I had to write a story about him as soon as I got back. I sent the story along with the photo above to my editor who bought it. This is the lovely illustration that they put with it - rather arty don't you think!
My second story in The People's Friend is called 'A Walk on the Fells'. The original title was The Coffin Stone which was much more interesting I think - maybe they didn't like the word 'coffin'. I wrote it after I came back form The Lake District in April. It is absolutely one of my favourite places in England to holiday and I have written (and have had published) a story every time I've come home from a visit. This is my fourth Lake District story for The Friend and I've had one published in Fiction Feast too.
Fiction editor, Shirley Blair, asked if I would tell the readers the inspiration behind my story and here it is. Have any of you ever walked the 'coffin route?'
My final story this week is called 'Don't Rock the Boat' - originally titled, 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' (never be precious about your titles). It was one of my first stories and was written after my first canal boat holiday in 2012. It didn't sell then so I put it away in a drawer, revamped it and resent it four years later. I've had three more canal boat holidays since then.
I'm off to the Greek island of Ithaka soon... I feel another Greek story coming on!