As a writer I’m often asked where I get my ideas from and is it difficult to come up with them.
I’m rather fortunate in that I always have lots of ideas but I have to admit the best ones come that moment of inspiration. My favourite source of inspiration is the radio. Because you’re listening to something without visual aid, what your hear on the radio often allows your imagination to fill in the gaps.
My latest book From Italy with Love was inspired when I was listening to the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Radio 2. It was during the annual drive and dine event, in which listeners bid for the chance to drive one of a collection of very expensive vintage cars.
I was driving to work and had stopped at the traffic lights, when I heard the throaty roar of one of a vintage Ferrari, the California Spyder GT250. I know very little about cars but I was immediately taken with the thought of what it would be like to be a very ordinary person who owns an extraordinary car and the whole story was born.
From Italy with Love follows the story of Laurie Brown who’s lived her live in the shadows afraid to take any risks and as a result has started to accept second best. When she inherits a vintage Ferrari and the challenge to drive it across Europe, it starts a chain of events leading to a journey of self-discovery.
I spent many a happy hour researching vintage cars and planning the journey across Europe. Many of the stopping points on Laurie’s trip were inspired by some of my favourite places including Paris and parts of Italy. I even included some very specific places such as the Musée Marmottan in Paris, which is one of my favourite museums and home to a magnificent collection of Monet paintings.
Although all of the settings are real towns and areas, I created the hotels and chateaus from my imagination, taking all the best bits from true life experiences I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy. When I’m writing I have a very clear picture in my head and it’s rather like running my own personal film in my head which I then have to try and capture on paper, often easier said than done!
I’ve just finished the follow up novel based on the story of Laurie’s sister, From Paris With Love At Christmas, and once again I’m taking Paris as my inspiration for several scenes in the book.
With a recent trip to New York and the Hamptons fresh in my mind, I’m sure there’s plenty of inspiration there for a new story.
Word wrangler, jelly herder, fuelled on wine, chocolate and marmite, Jules Wake shares her house with husband, teenagers and dust bunnies. Allergic to cleaning, writing is therefore ideal displacement activity.