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“Ideas are like rabbits, you get a couple and learn how to handle them and pretty soon you have a dozen. –  John Steinbeck.

Inspiration is a funny thing, it can strike when we are least expecting it and it can lead us in directions that we could never imagine.

Way back when I was still employed, I was sent by my boss on a course in Portsmouth for a week.  Before I went; people who had already been on the course warned me that the hotel was not exactly five-star accommodation.

And when I opened the door to my room, I could see what they meant, it was the sort of place, I thought to myself, where you would not be surprised to find a body in the bathroom.

At the time I had one book published and to be honest was a little unsure where my writing journey might take me.

The body in the bathroom idea stayed with me and I guess my subconscious must have worked in it because I found myself wondering what I would do if I had opened the door and actually found one, what would happen? Why was it there? and what it could mean in terms of my future actions?

From there it was easy(?) to develop the idea for a book, to use it as a starting point for an adventure and Ribbonworld was born. Ribbonworld gave me the idea for a yet to be published sequel, using the same characters and the unfinished business that always seems to exist in any book. The undeveloped plot strands, the back story and the characters that pass through the plot all have stories to tell, sometimes hinted at, sometimes worthy of a more detailed examination.

I wrote the sequel and what do you know? by ending it where I did, although it’s a perfectly sensible place to end that particular tale, it sets up the third book in what is rapidly becoming a series.

And the same pattern continues, people asked if there will be a sequel, you think about it and ideas flow. Or perhaps you do a bit of research, invent a back story and realise it has potential. Before you know it, a whole new world opens up.

And that’s where the quotation at the start comes in, you have one idea and before you know it, there are a hutch full, it’s almost as if once you start exercising a creative muscle, it develops and grows stronger on its own.

Find out about the body in the bathroom at


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