Friday, 13 January 2012


On the sofa with me today, eating some delicious chocolate biscuits left over from Christmas, is the flabulous S A Meade.  Take it away, honey... I'll just have the last one...

            After Lisa kindly agreed to let me invade her blog, I’ve been wracking my brain for something to write about. I mean really giving the old grey matter a stir. I thought deep thoughts about writing and stuff while I was driving around the gorgeous Wiltshire countryside. I stared at shampoo bubbles running down the drain while I blearily considered what profundities I could bore you all senseless with and I came up with precisely…nothing, nada, zilch, sod all.
            Then, while drinking my coffee this morning, I was going through the Facebook updates and saw a link to a blog post from the lovely Sue Brown about the glorious snogging scene that sent her on the writer’s road.  Then, while I was sitting here this afternoon resisting the call of ‘Angry Birds’ and generally feeling pissy and twitchy, this song came on the radio. It is one of those rare songs that I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I first heard it. It’s beautiful, evocative and Sting wrote it with the Wiltshire countryside in mind. It’s also the song that set me on my writer’s road.
            I lived in south central Arizona for several years and if there’s one thing I really disliked about living there, it was the relentless summer heat, especially during the monsoon. (Bear with me, this does lead somewhere). After work, I’d go and pick up my son from the summer ‘Kid’s Kamp’. On one particular day, I’d picked him up and was driving home. It’s not a long drive, five minutes or so. Eva Cassidy’s version of ‘Fields of Gold’ was on the radio and I stared across the flat, tumbleweed-infested expanse of desert dirt and longed for England. Then my brain clicked into some crazy gear and, by the time I pulled into the garage, I had a half-baked idea for a story in mind all because I saw a couple making love on the edge of a field of barley.
            Three months later I had the first draft, a very long first draft, of a novel – one of those sweeping historical thingies, the kind I devoured back in my younger days. When I’d finished that, I wrote another one and I haven’t stopped writing since - all because of one beautiful little song.
            And the footnote – we had to move back to England about a year and a half ago and where did we end up living? Wiltshire, of course.
            So, my question for you is, what inspires you?

S.A.Meade wrote Stolen Summer, which you can buy here:
You can also find her on Twitter:!/kestrelrising
She has two books coming out in the spring – Orion Rising on 26 March and Mourning Jack on 6 May. Both published by Total E-Bound.

Thank you for coming honey.  I am already half way through Stolen Summer and it is wonderful, so make sure you click on the buy link. 


  1. Though I started writing historical as well, I suppose I get most of my inspiration from the news - things that end up hitting me on some visceral level, whether it's something that makes me angry, or something that momentarily restores a bit of faith in the world, that sort of thing. Clearly, I need to live someplace where more inspiring things happen naturally. The only things we have hear making love at roadside are cows ;)

  2. I've always found that driving at dusk does wonders for my writing brain. Something about the light and the horizon makes me think of stories.

  3. Lovely post! I always love to hear how writers get their ideas, because it often is so wonderfully random. Like I tend to get a ridiculous amount of my ideas in the bathroom while brushing my teeth. Maybe toothpaste is cathartic? ;)

  4. Interesting comment about songs. Although I haven't been inspired to write by any one song, I link songs to various scenes as I'm writing; something that gives me the feel of the emotions in that chapter. So now when I hear that song on the radio, I instantly recall that scene and ow much fun I had writing it.

  5. Driving and showering are both good places for me to let the ideas come. I love that a song sparked you :D

  6. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts on inspiration.
    It's always been music for me. It's interesting to see other writers' catalysts.

    Lisa, thank you for letting me post on your blog today. I'm glad you're enjoying Stolen Summer.

  7. Most of the material I use comes from my experiences — “write what you know” and all that. But the thing that sparks a story in my brain and makes it take off in directions unknown, creates characters that become their own people — that I haven’t ever been able to put my finger on. I have plot epiphanies at the oddest times. Driving, of course, is rather common — but playing games with the children, doing yard work, and in the middle of conversations with my husband are other times they tend to pop up for me. I just go with it. It’s why I love my i phone. :)

  8. Current events, travel, walks and showers! What IS it about showers??

  9. The news, a song, images, movies. They've all seeded ideas for me at one point or another.