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How did I think of the plot for my first novel

As a voracious reader I am always fascinated by how an author comes up with the idea for their novel. So it’s hardly surprising that I get asked that question a lot too. Sometimes, it can be difficult to answer as often I can have a fully formed idea in my head before I start to write and by the time I have fleshed out the first few chapters, the characters seem to take me in a different direction. By the time I’ve finished, the novel actually becomes about something completely different to my original idea.

For a refreshing change, this didn’t happen with ‘It Never Rains’ so I thought I’d tell you how it came about.

The first seedling of an idea happened when I heard a news report about a beach in Novosibirsk in Russia. It was a lovely summer’s day and people were relaxing on the beach or swimming in the sea – usual holiday stuff. But the sky steadily darkened, the wind picked upĀ and it began to hail. The larger than average hailstones caused panic as the sunbathers didn’t have the luxury of a layer of clothing between them and the stinging pellets. The sea looked like it was being shelled.

This put me in mind of when I lived in Sydney, Australia in the late 90’s. We had a storm there at the end of the summer with the hailstones as big as tennis balls. The largest official sized one being 9cm in diameter. Ouch! Many cars and houses were damaged and for that matter people (I took refuge in a pub – any excuse!) and the insurance payout was one of the biggest in recent history.

So, I had freak weather conditions stuck in my head and when added to the fact that I lived next to a water treatment works while I was in university – it all started to take shape.

I won’t divulge any more in case you haven’t read it yet but suffice to say it was enough to get me thinking about all the dangers that my main character could get caught up in – I may have been a little mean to her!

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