Many things in life inspire certain locations, great works of art, both classic and modern, poetry of all kinds and many, many books. For this article let's focus on the written word, I am a writer after all.
The motivation to write a story is different to each individual. For example, the great Victorian author, Charles Dickens, wrote about traumatic events that occurred during his childhood and resulted in the semi-autobiographical novel David Copperfield. You’ll note the reversal of his initials, CD, to DC, as the central character was based on himself.
The quote by author Mark Twain, creator of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, “Write what you know,” applies to most fictional genres, even fantasy. The inspiration for my work comes from various locations and experiences during my childhood, which I have crafted into stories. They’re embellished, of course, but my main character in Land of Midnight Days, Jeremiah, possesses certain elements of my own experiences as a mixed-race person and the trials and tribulations that brought me. Music, of course, also plays a huge part in The Silver Flute Trilogy, though I hasten to add I have no musical talent whatsoever, that doesn’t stop me enjoying listening to those who have. The world I built is dark and dystopian: it is heavily polluted, gang fights are common. Anti-social behaviour is the norm and family values are eroded; issues which we are, alas, all too familiar with.
So where did the inspiration to write Land of Midnight Days spring from? Well, it came out of the blue, one day, when I was in, what I call, my “battery hen job.” That is to say, I worked in a call centre and, along with many others, was sat on my nest – I mean sat at my desk – taking calls and saying the same thing over and over, much as poor battery hens are required to churn out egg after egg. The only relief from this almost intolerable boredom came from a very large window, next to which I sat. When I was on the early shift, I witnessed some spectacular sunrises through that glass, but it wasn’t this alone that provided the sudden bolt of inspiration that struck me one day – no – it was the famous Littlewoods building, situated on Edge Lane in Liverpool. It has a very elegant art-deco tower and is painted white. As the sun slowly rose, the whole structure would gradually turn a glowing pink – it was almost magical to watch it. The view I had was at the rear of the building and behind the tower was a flat-roofed building, on which was situated a small blockhouse. I remember staring at this and thinking it would make a great setting for a story and so Book I of The Silver Flute Trilogy was born.
So, from adversity, my god-awful job, came a jewel of inspiration. I’m the kind of writer that has to have all the locations for my story in place before I can begin to hone the actual book. Once I have a background in mind, there’s no stopping me! In the picture at the head of this article you’ll see two other buildings that provided me with the wherewithal to craft my idea into stories. Allerton Hall is a mansion, now converted into a pub. It once belonged to philanthropist and abolitionist, William Roscoe. The other is St Luke’s Church, Liverpool, which was bombed during the Second World War, Only the interior was flattened, incredibly leaving the shell standing; inspiration indeed!
Well, dear readers, welcome to my world. Step through the door and explore if you will and take on the sometimes dark and turbulent mind of a writer.