Blue Hat For A Blue Day
Bernie, who lives in London, says, ‘I was inspired to write Blue Hat For A Blue Day after watching the
BBC documentary Smokey Dives. It was about the trad jazz scene in 1950s
Soho and was full of fascinating details. It also featured the late George
Melly, who sang in many of the bands and had a great store of juicy anecdotes’.
short stories have previously been published/performed in .Cent magazine and at Liars’
League, a fiction event where actors read short stories. You can find out
more about Bernie’s work on his website http://berniedeehan.wordpress.com
and find him on Twitter @BernieDeehan.
Tales From The Crypt
Kirsty says, ‘I found the idea
of Soane’s obsession with death hugely inspirational in a very dark way. The
image of the “crypt” bathed in candlelight was a perfect Gothic moment, and
ideal for Hallowe’en—that time when the veil lifts between both our worlds,
just little bit…’. Kirsty won the Belsay Hall/English Heritage National
Creative Writing Competition in 2009 and has had stories and articles published
in Ghost Voices magazine, The People’s Friend and The Weekly News, and several
anthologies. Kirsty’s novels The Memory
of Snow and Refuge, her short
story collection Turn on a Sixpence and
her non-fiction book History and Mystery,
Northern Hauntings Explored are all available from Amazon. Kirsty lives in
Blaydon-on-Tyne near Newcastle. Find out more at www.rosethornpress.co.uk.
Nick explains, ‘The Robin was inspired by an incident that occurred in the
Oxfordshire village of Whitchurch-on-Thames where I live. The Myrtle Cottage
that features in the story was home to D.H. Lawrence and his wife Frieda for a
few months during 1919. It happens to be situated almost opposite my house. This
only came to light when a letter he wrote from that address to his friend
Herbert Farjeon came up for auction. When I learned about the story from my
neighbours who lived there, I felt it would make a good short story’. Nick has
had three books published: A Journey With
Ghosts, Cheating Death and Billy Biscuit—The Colourful Life and Times
of Sir William Curtis Bart MP. As co-author he has just completed A Puzzle in Time, a romantic thriller
set in the modern day and the English Civil War period, to be published under the
nom de plume Jane Nicholls. He is also a photographer and film maker. Find out
more about Nick’s work at www.brazilproductions.co.uk.
Digging Up The Family: The 1918 Influenza Pandemic
retiring Gill Garrett lectured and wrote academic textbooks. She has had both
poetry and short stories (some, like this article, based on her own family
history) published in various journals, and two of her plays have recently been
broadcast on Corinium Radio. Gill was this year’s winner in the poetry
competition at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, and is a member of the Somewhere
Else writing group in Cirencester. You can read her blog at gillgarrett.blogspot.com.
E. A. M. Harris
Point Of Contact
E. A. M. Harris’ story is
inspired by the work of Ann
Radcliffe, an originator of the Gothic novel. She says, ‘Ann Radcliffe
interested me partly because so little is known about her, and partly because,
although she voluntarily “went public”, she found the resultant fame difficult
to deal with and eventually gave up publishing (and, probably, writing though
this is not known)’. Several
of the writer’s poems and stories have appeared in print and online magazines,
including Anon, Inside Out and Message in a Bottle. Point
of Contact is the first historical story she has written. She lives in
can read her blog at http://eamharris.com and follow her on Twitter @Eah1E.
‘Alfie was inspired by research into my father’s family history which was
rooted in the carpet industry of Kidderminster. I came across the history of
the strikes which go right back to 1789 and began to wonder whether my
relations had been part of the strikers; I also knew the belligerence of the
Midland people and their candid defiance. It seemed to me that it was the early
part of the trade union movement and that was of interest’. Cathy took up
writing after embarking on Open University creative writing courses, and has a
keen interest in poetry, mainly around themes of memory
and the past. She lives in Slough.
Autocracy and Democracy: Whitehall in the Political History of the United
from East Sussex, has enjoyed a varied career in the diplomatic service and the
antiques business, and is now a freelance writer, mainly about antiques and “interesting”
characters. His book of memoirs Michael
Montagu’s Memoirs: Aristocratic Meanderings and Other Stories is available
on Amazon. In his article, Michael tells us about history of Whitehall—its
buildings, and the people and politics associated with it.
Our Day Out
from Salisbury, says her story was inspired by the guidelines of a competition
that she didn’t read properly—‘I thought it was an invitation to write about the responses of
children to Salisbury Cathedral, when in fact it was to write about a real
person buried there from the point of view of a child!’ she says. Jennifer’s short
stories have appeared in publications including Mslexia and Scribble, and
she has won several competitions for her work.
The Look Every Woman Wanted
screenwriter Roger Harvey, who lives in Newcastle, here documents Christian
Dior’s transformation of post-war fashion with his “New Look”, revealed to the
world in 1947. Roger’s novels Percy the Pigeon, The Silver Spitfire,
A Woman Who Lives by the Sea, River
of Dreams and Albatross Bay have been published along with various poetry collections and acting
editions of his plays. He wrote and directed the film Guinevere-Jennifer, and his latest book is The Writing Business. Find out more about his work at roger-harvey.co.uk.
New Model Army
Ely, Cambridgeshire, says, ‘By profession I’m a technical writer in the
software industry, though my academic background is in history and English. I’m
currently revising a young adult novel set in the eighteenth century’. In
addition to local interest in Oliver Cromwell, she says, New Model Army was inspired by Antonia Fraser’s book about
seventeenth century women and the Civil War, The Weaker Vessel.
The Pugilist Parson: The Strange Tale of Radford of Lapford
lives not far from Lapford in Devon, says, ‘My interest in John Radford arose
after coming across some intriguing references in local history books. I went
to visit and photograph his old church in Lapford, and spent many hours poring
over old newspapers to check the veracity of the tales I had read’. James has
worked as a rare book librarian and monastic archivist. His articles on church
history, Victorian photography and early cinema have been published in journals
including The Innes Review, Studies
in Photography, Ancient Egypt and The Clan Chattan Journal. His book A Carnal Medium:
Fin-de-siècle Essays on the Photographic Nude is published by Callum James Books. Find out more about
James at silverscript.weebly.com.
The Charcoal Burner’s Daughter
Shirley says that learning about the lives of her ancestors
and their occupation of charcoal-burning in Wealden, Sussex, inspired her
story. Shirley’s children’s book Krystal
Bull Rain Dancer is published by Little Devil Books and is available on
Amazon, published under the name Shirley Harber. Shirley also writes poetry and
was a runner-up in a recent Mslexia competition. She lives in Denham, Buckinghamshire.
Find out more about Shirley’s work at www.shirleyharber.com.