First up, I have a guest post from the lovely Louise Beech, author of ‘How To Be Brave’.
Why Halloween has a special kind of magic for me…
By Louise Beech
While usually loved for the spooky dressing up and Trick or Treating, Halloween is special to me for another reason. It is the day – in 2013 – when I started my novel, How to be Brave. It wasn’t intentional that I began then, but I suppose some rather ghostly happenings had led to it all coming about.
I’d always dreamt about the grandfather I never met, Grandad Colin, the merchant seaman who in part inspired the book. He often appeared to me as a child, when I was ill or sad, at the end of my bed, spectral. When my daughter got ill and refused her life-saving injections, I told her his incredible true sea survival story, and this was what led to me writing How to be Brave.
I was nervous about writing such a huge story. I held off and held off. One day I went with my sister and brother to see a psychic, and as we were leaving she said quite urgently to me, “What is it you’re thinking of writing? Something about a child’s illness and your family ancestry? You must write it. You must.”
So I did.
Since I started it on 31st October – sitting in my dressing gown, giving out sweets to children at our door between first words – I decided to write the very first scene as taking place on Halloween night. It was perfect for the opening; it meant I could write gorgeous description of glowing candles and orange pumpkins and the smell of bonfires in the air.
It also meant that main character Natalie didn’t question the World War 2 costume of her grandfather, thinking he was merely another hospital visitor and not someone from long ago…
About Louise Beech
Louise Beech is an East Yorkshire author who has always been haunted by the sea. She regularly writes travel pieces for the Hull Daily Mail, where she was a columnist for ten years. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice and being published in a variety of UK magazines. Louise lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Hull – the UK’s 2017 City of Culture – and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012. She is also part of the Mums’ Army on Lizzie and Carl’s BBC Radio Humberside Breakfast Show.
‘How To Be Brave’ is available to buy from Amazon:-