Happy Monday everybody!
It is Presidents’ Day in the US so we have a long weekend! Both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were born in the month of February, when I was in school mini mini mini years ago we had both presidents birthdays off, but now they are combined into one day.🇺🇸
Killing Them With Kindness
Deirdre Cossette is the self appointed carer for the elderly on The Avenue and all of her friends have stories to tell. Margery, whose comfortable life was destroyed by a knock on the door. Stan, who made a mistake as a young footballer which cost him his friends and his self-respect. Marina, whose slim and stylish figure hides a terrible secret from the summer of Live Aid. And, Oliver and Archie, who have survived everything from post war homophobia to a family tragedy – and they have done it together. Deirdre believes that everyone should have a choice. If they want to live on a diet of cakes, drink the alcoholic equivalent of a small hydrotherapy pool, or take on a toy boy lover in spite of a dodgy heart, Deirdre believes it is their right to do so. If they remember her in their wills afterwards, that’s not her fault, is it? However, not everyone agrees with her. When disgruntled relatives from the present meet up with disgruntled ghosts from her past, Deirdre discovers the cost of being kind.
Andy Paulcroft grew up in Weston-super-Mare, and his love of books started when he borrowed his sister’s copy of Five Run Away Together and exaggerated a minor illness in order to finish reading it. He has since worked as a chef in France, Switzerland, Corsica and the North Highlands of Scotland before settling as a catering manager at a boarding school in Dorset. After many years of writing two to three chapters of a book before discarding it, he finally published his first novel Postcards From Another Life – in December 2017. The wonderful feeling of completing a novel was only surpassed by receiving a positive reaction from people who had read it. He retired from catering and recently published his second novel Killing Them With Kindness. He is now working on his third book.
@Andy.Paulcroft (Facebook Page)
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WHERE THE IDEAS COME FROM …
Thank you so much for inviting me onto your blog during my tour of Killing Them With Kindness.
One of the questions that is regularly asked when people know that you write books is: ‘Where do your ideas come from?’ The actual truth for me is probably – everywhere …
I have always dreamt a lot and those dreams have a slightly movie-like quality about them. I still get quite a few ideas when I’m sleeping, most of them are rubbish, but occasionally I am left with an image which I can weave into a story, once I am fully awake. This is basically what happened with my first book Postcards From Another Life. I then used those dreams as a device to take the action back to Weston-super-Mare in 1977, following the advice: ‘Write about somewhere you know.’ Through the dreams, Peter, the main protagonist, discovers that a so-called ‘accidental’ death – might not have been so accidental after all.
The idea for Killing Them with Kindness came from a chance remark I overheard as I stepped down from a bus in Weymouth. A slightly overweight lady jokingly cursed a friend for buying her an ice cream: ‘Oh! You’re killing me with kindness, you are …’ It gave me the idea for a poem which I turned into a pretty awful song. Twenty years later when I was searching for an idea to follow up Postcards I thought about the poem and wondered if there was a novel in there somewhere. I decided to give the friends who are mentioned in the poem a back-story and weave those stories throughout the novel. I’d had a few ideas for short stories stored in my brain and thought I could use them too. One of the stories had taken shape when I saw a man standing too close to the main carriageway of the A38 on the way to Worcester. Another had developed after I’d seen an HTV West local news story about a wave of fake emergency calls that were hindering the ambulance service and potentially endangering lives. A third grew due to the fact that I have always been fascinated by the fact that homosexuality was illegal before 1967, and gay people have been treated appallingly by some factions of society for many years after that. I wanted to write about two characters who had grown up during that time, but had managed to survive everything. I wanted them to have as strong a relationship as my parents had enjoyed during their sixty years of marriage.
An idea for a short story that I have used, but not in Killing Them With Kindness, came from memories of visiting elderly relatives when I was a child. I have always chided myself since for the wasted opportunity, for not asking them questions about their lives, after I have discovered that they had some fascinating stories. In the story A slice of Lemon and Cherry Madeira Cake, the accidental spillage of the titular cake by a fourteen-year-old protagonist leads to a strange reaction from his elderly great-uncle and changes their relationship completely.
The idea for my work in progress, which will hopefully become my third novel, came to me while I was driving to work,a few years ago, early in the morning on a lonely country road. I took a sharp bend, possibly a little too fast, and met another car who was also travelling slightly speedier than was advisable on a one track road. Luckily, we both managed to swerve and an accident was avoided, but, when I looked back, the car had disappeared. This was probably because I’d taken longer to recover from the shock than I’d first thought, but it got me thinking. What if it had simply disappeared? Where could it have gone? The idea for Another Man’s Shoes was born.
So. Where do the ideas come from? To quote the words of a famous advert … Anytime, any place, any where.