I’m really pleased to welcome Julia Roberts to the blog today. No, not that Julia Roberts – this is the one you may know from the QVC shopping channel or as the author of the Liberty Sands Trilogy. This Julia has just published a short story called ‘Time For a Short Story’ (you can order a copy here) and shares her inspiration for it below. Before your read her post though, a few thoughts from me about the story.
Time for a Short Story was a perfect feel-good story and I thoroughly enjoyed this quick read. The characters all seemed very real and the relationships between them depicted so well. I have to confess to a soft spot for Josephine, of course, and it was good to read about the inspiration behind the character in Julia’s guest post below. It was a welcome change to have an elderly character still enjoying life and still having new experiences. Eloise’s gift to Josephine for her 90th birthday was very touching. It is a sign of how attached I became to the characters in such a short time that, like Eloise, I was worried about Josephine when she didn’t turn up at the tearoom one day and was annoyed with the care-home managers who were less than helpful. If you don’t have much time to read, you definitely should make time for this short story.
It may be a little ambitious of me to have a go at writing a short story when I’ve only recently started writing novels, but I had the seed of an idea after a visit to my mum’s and I just sat down and started to write.
My mum, who recently turned ninety, has always enjoyed writing short stories and has submitted a few of the finished ones to magazines like People’s Friend and Woman’s Weekly. Notice I said a few of the finished ones? That is Mum’s problem. She has lots of ideas and has started writing scores of stories but she doesn’t finish the majority of them. I thought that if I based a short story on her, even calling my character by Mum’s name, Josephine, maybe it would encourage her to finish a few more stories.
Mum has now read Time for a Short Story and it has had the desired effect. She is currently typing up (yes, like my character in the story she writes everything in long hand) a 2000 word story called The Red Geranium before submitting it to magazines.
So, Josephine is one of the main characters in my story, the other is a twenty year old English student, Eloise, who is still mourning the death of her mum. She meets Josephine in a tearoom called the Primrose Pantry in Guernsey where she has taken a summer job. Just as an aside, the name of the tearoom was inspired by the ceramic clock I have on the wall in my kitchen. It even features on the cover, designed by my daughter.
Eloise asks to read some of Josephine’s short stories and is impressed by how good they are. She plans a surprise for Josephine’s ninetieth birthday but when the old lady doesn’t show up for cappuccino and buttered teacake Eloise begins to worry that something is very wrong.
If you read this and like it you may also like the Liberty Sands trilogy.