ShortBookandScribes #BlogTour #GuestPost by Allie Burns, Author of The Land Girl @allieburns1 @NeverlandBT
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Land Girl by Allie Burns. This book sounds like a fabulous read. I have a great guest post by Allie today about where she gets her writing inspiration from. My thanks to Jenny Marston from Neverland Blog Tours for the place on the tour.
War changes everything…
Emily has always lived a life of privilege. That is until the drums of World War One came beating. Her family may be dramatically affected but it also offers her the freedom that she craves. Away from the tight control of her mother she grabs every opportunity that the war is giving to women like her, including love.
Working as a land girl Emily finds a new lease of life but when the war is over, and life returns to normal, she has to learn what to give up and what she must fight for.
Will life ever be the same again?
Where I get my writing inspiration by Allie Burns
I am always getting new ideas for novels and short stories which I become immediately obsessed with and want to write straight away. So that I don’t get carried away, and to keep me focussed on one writing project at a time, I write the new ones down in the Ideas Book that I keep by my bed. Most of ideas are just that, an interesting person, or setting and the execution will take a lot of planning and teasing out from that initial germ of an idea, and that can take time, sometimes years.
Here are some of my common sources of inspiration:
1. Family history. Every family has folkloric tales of drama and history. For the Land Girl, I was interested in the story of my two German great-great grandfathers and what it must have been like to live in Britain during the war.
Another book idea I have draws on a family mystery that caused a lot of upset and left many unanswered questions. By the time some of the truth emerged (some forty years later) the family member shrouded in mystery had died and so no one could ask them why they did what they did. In the future, I hope to attempt to imagine the answers and give that relative a voice and a chance to explain themselves.
2. Objects. I have started to work on my third book and this story was inspired by a pair of evening gloves that belonged to my great aunt. By finding out the story behind the gloves I’ve discovered that the aunt enjoyed an interesting career which has inspired both my setting and my protagonist.
3. Photographs. When I’m at the planning stage and I have developed the idea of a character’s personality, but I can’t quite visualise them, I use photographs for inspiration. When writing historical fiction, I find photographs so useful for helping me feel as though I’m at an exciting event and they provide me with the little details and touches that help to evoke the atmosphere.
4. Reading. I read so many books, fiction and non, newspaper archives and I also watch lots of films and listen to audio. For a writer on a budget, books and films are the perfect way to travel anywhere, and open me up to the experiences of others, without ever having to leave the house.
5. Relationships. We all read fiction to help us to learn a little bit more about the world. Friendship is an important and recurring theme for me in my writing and reading, and I’m often inspired by the things my friends do and say, or the lifecycle of a particular relationship. Family dynamics are interesting too. In The Land Girl the mother-daughter relationship is challenging – for many young girls the war presented them with opportunities, while the older generation hankered for a return to normality. I read many first-hand accounts of mother-daughter relationships to help me understand why Emily’s mother controls her in the way she does.
This list of inspiration is by no means exhaustive, and the wonderful thing about creativity is that we all find inspiration in different ways. Hopefully it has given you an insight into my own creative processes and it might give you some ideas to use yourself.
Thank you so much, Allie. Some very useful ideas there and I love the sound of your third book.
Allie lives in Kent with her family and two tortoises. When she’s not writing for business or penning her women’s historical fiction, Allie enjoys swimming and yoga. She has an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University and The Lido Girls is her debut novel. She is currently working on a second interwar years novel, which is due for publication in the summer of 2018.