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Simon Marshland

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Blogs by Simon Marshland

Writing is a Strange Business
6/19/2011 2:13:09 AM
How I came to write my new book
Mr Christopher

Writing is a strange business. For some, ideas and words flow with the steady reliability of a great river while others struggle for hours or even weeks in search of either. Yet more write in the manner of a small stream, quietly placid one moment then like rippling rapids galvanized into frantic activity the next. But the majority of writers, and I include myself amongst them, fall somewhere in between. We have our moments of writerís block but know that if we force ourselves to sit down and write, no matter what rubbish results, the block will lift and the way ahead will become clear once more.

In a recent interview I was asked what I thought was the secret of successful writing. Taking the question to be one of financial success I replied that probably one of the most important aims was to find a particular genre that came naturally then stick with it. Build up a following of those who like crime, thrillers, adventure or love stories. One only has to browse down a library shelf to see the truth in this, yet for some reason, probably lack of mental discipline, I have never managed to follow my own advice. Instead finding myself gripped by some new topic, sitting down to scribble my views on the subject only to discover the idea for a book emerging as a result. Which was how Mr Christopher was conceived.

One of the major problems facing the World today is man made Global Warming, at least thatís what we are told by a large part of the scientific community. Personally I tend to doubt the man made part though accept that Global Warming may well be taking place. After all the earth has been cooling and warming for millions of years, a classic example being the Swiss town of Geneva, which would have been covered by ten thousand feet of ice had it been built before the last ice age. Anyway, after a long discussion on the subject I sat down at the computer to put my views on record at which point as often happens the storyteller in me took over. I decided to go with man made global warming because it offered the best scenario for emotions like anger, blame, guilt, fear and love which are so important when constructing a storyline to hold the readerís attention.

Next came the two principle characters. I decided the girl should be young and attractive yet old enough to have a history. Enter Holly Daffodil, aged 28 an ex advertising executive recently widowed from older professor of entomology husband from the local university. As no one on earth had come up with a global warming solution I had to look elsewhere for the man if the book was to end with a message of hope. At which point a Chrysltot Thought Entity from deep space who had arrived in the solar system in error a million odd years before and funnelled down to earth to relapse into thought mode to review the situation entered the story. As the Chrysltot begins to return from thought mode strange things happen to Holly and her farmhouse, ranging from lawns being miraculously mowed to seeing her dead husband in the sitting room and her cat Mr Magnus starting to talk, but eventually he materializes in human form and they meet. But as Holly finds Chrysltot too difficult to pronounce she calls him Christopher and the story begins.

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More Blogs by Simon Marshland
•  Writing is a Strange Business - Sunday, June 19, 2011  
• Stuff of Nightmares - Sunday, June 19, 2011

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