The Making of Heart Strings, The Making of Me.
'Heart Strings' is a collection of stories, mainly written since I moved from Wales to Ireland, four years ago. I wrote 'Return to the Country' a few months after the move, as a response to my new location. I suddenly found myself in an ancient cottage, on the edge of a country estate. For a while there, it felt like my only friends (besides my husband) were the pheasants that drifted in.
One particular pheasant became a regular visitor and I began feeding him. I even gave him a name. Meanwhile, I noticed that although my husband was originally from the area, he too was struggling to adjust. Conversations with old friends were often stilted and uncertain. Everything had changed.
That's when the idea came to me. I would write a story from the perspective of someone who had grown up in a rural area, moved to London, lived the life of a professional and now found themselves, back on home turf, but strangely lost. I also managed to work in the pheasant! Here's a brief extract:
'Living on the edge of a country estate meant that pheasants often wandered into Tina’s garden, pecking and strutting about, uttering the odd curious crow. The handsome birds always looked so well turned out with their groomed feathers a striking mix of burnt orange, mahogany and scarlet.
One of her regular visitors was a particularly fine specimen of a male pheasant; strong, vibrant and quite tame, she had named him ‘Percival.’ The first day she saw him he had been a ball of feathers and over-fluffy, like a big baby bird. As it began to snow she realised this was his way of keeping warm. She loved this magical ability to transform and wished she too could alter her appearance as she pleased.'
Having written 'Return to the Country' I didn't automatically envisage myself, writing a collection. I half-heartedly began a sequel, abandoning it after a few pages. I wrote the odd poem here and there but didn't have a real focus for my creative work, as I had done in the past. I was busy, organising my wedding and afterwards began training in business and childcare. It was early in 2011, that I had another great idea for a story.
I'm a huge fan of the film 'Rear Window' and I found myself thinking: What if I wrote a story where a woman is sitting in her front window, watching life go by? What if she sees something suspicious and mysterious, going on across the road?
I explored the possible reasons why, a relatively young and attractive woman might be cooped up at home with an overactive imagination. My central character: Athena, began to take shape . . . She was a woman who had given up work due to health problems with a passion for sweet treats and crime fiction. She was a devoted sister and aunty, about to be drawn from the comfort of her armchair, into a world of trickery and betrayal:
'A black Mercedes was now parked in the driveway of number 15 and a glamorous couple had emerged. The man was tall and broad shouldered, he wore a long black coat with a trail of silver buttons down the front. Athena was reminded of a magician as he spoke to his companion, using his hands expansively to illustrate a point. She imagined the expensive swish of the material, the smell of newness.
The woman was armed against the evening chill with a black tasseled pashmina, again Athena caught the glint of silver as she moved. Being in possession of a fanciful imagination, Athena found herself thinking of a sheer black sky dotted with sparkling stars.
These must be the people due to move in to the house opposite. Athena was pleased to see that her neighbours had style and elegance, even an air of mystery which was most important of all to a people watcher.'
'Athena' was a real break-through for me and I quickly went on to write 'Teachers in Love'. That summer I began working on, 'Magic and the Modern Witch' and I started to believe that these stories could become a collection. In the Autumn I got serious about writing, planning my days and ensuring my creative goals were achieved. I made a real effort with Twitter and discovered the huge changes that had occurred in publishing, since I set up my own company back in 2005, publishing myself and five other young writers. Now, it seemed so much easier to put a book out there and a whole community of writers and readers were available to me. I felt like I belonged.
'Rewriting Christmas' was finished just before Christmas 2011. This year I completed 'Roadtrip' the story of runaway best friends: Jenna and Luke. I also revisited the sequel to 'Return to the Country' that I began in 2009. Surprisingly, it was easy to pick up the story (entitled: 'The Move') and I am loving the characters that have emerged.
For my next project, I'm going to take these characters and write them each a story, interweaving plot-lines using a technique, employed by Maeve Binchy in 'The Lilac Bus' and 'The Copper Beech'. So, it's looking like my next book will be a novella and I'm delighted at the progress I've made. At last, I don't feel I should apologise for scribbling my life away. I am happy and I am writing for the foreseeable future.
'Heart Strings' is available to download for just £1.99 at: http://amzn.to/Sg7Zof
About the Author
K. S. Moore is from Swansea in South Wales. She has an honours degree in English Literature from Cardiff University and ran a Swansea based publishing company called 'Young Welsh and Poetic' from 2005-2008. The company specialised in publishing the work of writers aged under 30.
She now lives in Waterford, Ireland with her husband and blogs regularly at her website: http://ksmoore.com/. Short story and poetry books are available to buy from the store. She is also branching out into teaching and plans to tour the Southeast of Ireland with her workshop 'Story Wise', in 2013.