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Did you dance in the rain today?

The launch of Unusual Places

It rained in Brighton today

It rained in Brighton today, and I still haven’t got used to it. Rain in the U.K. is not usually a big deal but we’ve just had one of the biggest heatwaves in my life time. (Yes I was alive during the last one in 1976 – but not old enough to remember it.)

In fact, as soon as the heatwave broke, my whole family went outside to dance in it.

Sea swimming

We’ve been swimming in the sea more times than I can count, just to cool off, meaning I had to get inventive with the picnics – there’s only so much fish and chips and ice cream a person can take. I guess cooling off in the sea is pretty normal if you live down here. Sometimes, I feel like I should push the boat out a little (so to speak).

This is one of the cool parts of being a writer – I can make my characters do the stuff I would never do.

Not swimming in a pond

Case in point:  I’ve never been swimming in a pond. Never just ‘jumped in’ when the whim took me. (Unlike one of my characters – more on that in a moment). Of course, you never know exactly what’s lurking below the surface.

What I like to do when I write my short stories is this: I go to an interesting place, have a look around, and do a bit of method acting, to a certain extent, as if I actually am my character. Then I think ‘What if I lived in a marmalade factory?’ ‘What if when I died I turned into a tree?’ ‘What if I jumped in that pond?’

Photo by Jaleel Akbash

But I didn’t actually jump in the pond. I made my character do it instead.

A free story

I want to give you a sneak preview of the stories I wrote in unusual places (I wrote them all over the place, but mainly in London). Over a few posts, I’ll be letting you know about some of the stories I’ve written and the places that inspired them.

In the meantime, here’s a free extract for you: a story about someone who jumps in a pond in a London park. (I wrote it in the Orangery in Kensington Gardens – very posh – far too posh for someone who’s just jumped in a pond in fact.) Go and download it here.

Where next?

You can check out the next unusual place in the series here.

You can see a list of all the posts in this series.




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