My latest international best seller (possibly): The Ghosts of Blackbottle Rock.
On my very first holiday in Polruan, on the south coast of Cornwall, I was watching the boats go by when I spotted a shop owner going into the store room in a secluded area at the back of his shop in what seemed to me to be a furtive manner. It was all in my imagination (see yesterday’s post about thinking like a writer); he was simply going to get more goods for his shelves. I fell in love with the area and went back many times, and he turned out to be a perfectly nice completely unfurtive man.
But at the time it set a chain of thought going: a family heirloom which was a clue to a suspicious shipwreck involving his ancestor, and restless spirits. All that and more eventually resulted in this book.
A young boy, struggling to come to terms with the loss of his mother and his father’s new girlfriend, takes my place as the person spotting the suspicious activity. He eventually teams up with two local children to investigate the both the man and how he is linked to some spooky activity in an empty old house he is seen visiting in the dead of night.
I would like to make a special mention here regarding the artist who provided the wonderful, striking cover picture. I do a lot of my writing in my favourite cafe, and I had noticed her beavering away with sketch pads etc so since I wasn’t keen on the publisher’s idea of using a stock photo for the cover, I rather cheekily approached her and explained my predicament. She kindly and readily agreed to come up with something. It was a serendipitous event, because not only is the picture she produced wonderfully atmospheric and eye-catching, but, in keeping with the spooky nature of the book, it is uncannily how I had envisaged the cover should look (only better!).