Today I’m very excited to bring you a guest post by Hannah Fielding
Hannah’s novel ‘The Echoes of Love’ can be purchased here.
So many things awaken my muse. Sometimes it may be something as simple as a face in the crowd that catches my attention. Other times I’m gazing out at beautiful scenery when an idea wanders into my head – it was an ocean liner moving majestically across the moonlit ocean, for example, that planted the seed of the idea for my first novel, Burning Embers. Or I could be at the theatre, or listening to a piece of music, or re-reading a classic novel – culture is deeply inspiring, I find.
I don’t go out seeking inspiration, because I’ve never felt the need. It comes to me, in so many forms, because I am always open to ideas. I know when the muse is tugging at me because I feel it – I have an emotional reaction to something I’ve seen or heard or felt. I carry with me a notebook in my handbag, so that I am always able to capture an idea. Later, I’ll explore the idea carefully. Some I dismiss; some take on something of a life of their own!
Settings, often, are the starting place for a book idea. For my new novel, The Echoes of Love, it was a childhood visit that first sparked the desire to create a story. Then, as now, I was wide-eyed and enchanted by the beauty of the city. I distinctly remember standing in the main square, the Piazza St Marco, gazing up at the stunning architecture of Saint Mark’s Basilica and feeling I had somehow entered another world – a fairytale world. Then I looked down, at the square itself, which was overrun by hordes of pigeons. There was nothing beautiful about those birds. They were quite spoiling the place. And it struck me then that Venice is a city of two faces: that which the tourists flock to admire, that makes the city the capital of romance, that breathes new life into the imagination and leaves a permanent, inspirational impression. And the other side, the darker side, that which is concealed in what Erica Jong called ‘the city of mirrors, the city of mirages’. The contrast fascinated me, and haunted me, and years later a story began to emerge in my mind of a couple embroiled in a world of mirage, where nothing is quite what it seems and the darkness threatens to tear them apart forever.
A big thank you to Hannah for stopping by The Love of a Good Book