Morton S. Gray writes an exclusive piece for Female First
Morton S. Gray writes an exclusive piece for Female First

I sit in the café sipping my cappuccino. A man joins the queue waiting to be served and I immediately notice his smart business suit, dreadlocks and bare sandaled feet. Who dresses like that? Why? Who is he? My mind begins to work and before I know it, I have a short story in my notebook which probably bears no resemblance to the truth, but does that matter when my story is fiction anyway?

The three women at the table next to me lean in to share a confidence, I hear one phrase, ‘Louise went missing you know …’ I hear no more of the tale, but by the time I’ve drunk today's skinny flat white, there is another story in my notebook about why Louise went missing and what happened next.

I wait my turn in the doctor’s surgery, delighting in the unusual names appearing on the automated “next patient board”, these get squirrelled away in my ever-present notebook for naming future novel characters.

A story can be inspired by many things, a headline, a postcard, a snatch of conversation, even an unfamiliar scent. As a writer, I’m tuned in to these stimuli and always on the look out for a story. As you go about your daily life, you could even be unwittingly my inspiration! You wouldn’t recognise yourself in my story, wouldn’t remember the words you used at the time, or even be aware I was there, but I am grateful to you all because you provide the spark for my imagination.

Another source of inspiration are the courses I attend. Thankfully, I love learning new things, so it is a bonus that I can often weave these experiences, or things about the people I meet into my novels and stories. I particularly like experiences that take me out of my comfort zone as these remind me of the range of human emotions and fears. This weekend I was on a French polishing course, stripping wooden furniture for restoration, but over the years, I’ve learned how to make rag rugs, silver clay jewellery, paint mandalas, lino print, make glass beads, recognise antiques, meditate, write spiritual poetry, teach positive thinking, about earth energies, hypnotherapy, Reiki and acupressure massage.

My favourite place to write is in coffee shops – I love a cup of real coffee, but also being around other people. Writing can be a lonely business if you’re not careful. My husband works away, my one son has left home and the other is a teenager who spends most of his time in his room. If I didn’t write away from home, I might spend days with no one for company but the dog!

Morton Gray's latest book, The Truth Lies Buried, a compelling mix of mystery and romance, is released in paperback and audio today (March 12, 2019).

Morton's books are available from all good book shops and online retailers. Details can be found via her award winning publishers, Choc Lit - www.choc-lit.com

Morton won Choc Lit's nationally renowned Search for a Star competition in 2017.


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