• Jan Brown

Where do Ideas come from?

Updated: Dec 29, 2020

One of the first questions I am asked when people realise that I write is, "Where do you get your ideas?"

For me it is usually places or people or a combination of both. My first book, 'Unravelling the Threads' is set in Cornwall where I was living at that time. My husband and I were house hunting and went to view a 19th century converted Methodist Chapel. As soon as we entered the building I was struck by a wave of emotion, a mix of heightened feelings that I couldn't explain or rationalise. Whilst the conversion had been done beautifully and the setting was idyllic, the property just wasn't large enough for our needs and so reluctantly we had to turn our backs on it and look elsewhere. Even through this busy time thoughts of the Chapel kept recurring and finally I knew that I would have to write about it. I did some local history research, just the basic events in the life of the building and one day the story appeared in my head. I can't explain it any more than that.

I had a similar experience here in Wales when I visited Gregynog Hall in Powys for a tour of the building with afternoon tea. It only took one step across the threshold and the hairs on the back of my head stood up. I knew that I had somehow been in this place before. I had had no intention of writing about the area but as soon as I discovered the reason for my deja vu moment, the journey began, the research provided me with the skeleton of the story and the rest is history. 'People Like Us' has turned out to be the most rewarding and draining book that I have written. It is the story of my ancestors and also a portrait of the lives of women in 19th century rural Wales. Publishing, along with many other aspects of life has been hindered this year but I am hopeful that it will soon be available for you to read.

#writersblock #tips #organize

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