Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Stories for Special People

Last week was very exciting with the launch of my second short story collection, The Last Rose. The stories are about family and friendship but it was only recently that I realised how many of them have been directly inspired by my own family and friends: things we've done together, something they've said or just distant memories.

In today's blog post I am going to give you a little snippet of some of the stories and tell you how the special people in my life helped them to come about.

Saying Goodbye to Summer:

Without a backward glance and with no uncertainty in her young mind, Summer had left her a blown kiss and a heart full of memories.

Summer is leaving for university, but the description of that moment was based on the day my own daughter left home.

New Beginnings:

Dear Nan. I am finding it hard to sleep even though Mum sings to me and rocks me. I didn't mean to make her tired but I miss her when she puts me down in my cot. Maybe I'll sleep better tomorrow. Love Alex.

My close friend's daughter used to send her text messages from her new baby grandson. Her wonderful anecdotes about her family have inspired many of my other stories.

Just Maybe:

She rested her arms on the stone wall and breathed in the sweet scent of jasmine that, despite being September, was still in full bloom. Behind her, a yellow lilo drifted across the pool. Bliss.
"If you've taken my ipod, you'll wish you'd never been born!"

I wrote this after my lovely step-daughter decided our two families should go on holiday together to 'bond'. We're still thinking about it!

Links in a Chain:

"Is this yours?"
Erin nodded and her eyes filled at the sight of her beautiful necklace - so precious because her mother had given it to her - but broken now.

My daughter and I wear identical thin gold necklaces. One day, I noticed she wasn't wearing it and 'Links in a Chain' was the story I came up with as an explanation. (It's her birthday next week and I've bought her another... shhh.)

A Growing Family:

"Same old book, Nan?"
"Of course. I wouldn't use anything else. Now hold your head straight." Lifting his head a fraction, she placed the book flat on his head before making a new mark with her pen. "Still growing, I see."

My door frame shows height marks for my children, step-children and grandchildren!

The Last Rose:

Ron sees me looking at the flower beds.
"As you can see, I don't really know what I'm doing. Glad used to have it all worked out in her head. She knew what was tall and what was short and everything was in its right place. It's not exactly what she would have had in mind."
"Well, I think it's marvellous," I say, and I mean it.

My father-in-law loves his vegetable garden and left the flower planting to my mother-in-law. When she sadly died a few years ago, he carried on with the flower garden in her memory. It may not be as well planned but it's always a riot of colour!

And finally - the image of the perfect bloom in the story is inspired by the beautiful apricot rose in my mother's garden.

So many special memories... so many special people.

With Mother's Day coming up, if you would like to spoil that special someone, you can buy The Last Rose here
Available for Kindle or in paperback.


  1. Hi Wendy,
    I enjoyed reading what inspired you to create The Last Rose. A lovely post. I've just gotten my copy of the collection and shall be reading it soon.

  2. Interesting to read what inspired your stories, especially as I often don't know where mine came from.

    1. I can pinpoint the idea behing most of mine, Patsy.

  3. What a lovely post, Wendy - I love the inspiration behind these stories.

  4. I really enjoyed this collection, Wendy. And it's lovely to now read the inspiration behind some of the stories. One of my favourites was The Last Rose. Also loved the texting baby.

    1. That's my father in law in his vegetable garden - the inspiration behind The Last Rose, Tracy.

  5. Each story has a memory, each memory a story. What a lovely post, Wendy. Just been off to download my copy and came back to comment. You are in inspiration

    1. My short term memory is shocking but my long term memory is used to full advantage! I hope you enjoy the stories, Natalie.

  6. Hi Wendy
    How wonderful to read the inspiration behind the stories. Can't wait to read it. And absolutely love the cover.

  7. Such a lovely post, Wendy. It's good to know how you were inspired to write each story. Good luck with the sales of the new anthology, too.

  8. I always love to hear about the story behind the story. What a lovely idea for a blog post. Congratulations on publishing your second collection of short stories.

    1. My friends and family know to take care of what they say to me... Just in case!

  9. Some lovely memories here as well as inspirations for stories. Beautiful.

    1. Now I have them in a book, the memories will live on long after I would have forgotten them.

  10. How lovely that you have immortalised your family in this way.