When you're in the company of a writer it's important to understand from the very offset that anything you say to us may one day appear in a story. It won't be repeated in the way you told us, and you might not even recognise it as something you once dropped in to conversation, but be warned, a juicy anecdote can be stored for years until we find a use for it.
Cathy feels her welly boots fill with water. Freezing cold water.
She stares in to the gaping mouth of the concrete tunnel and thinks of the lion snarling and baring its teeth on the circus posters that are stuck up around town. She takes a deep breath, imagines she’s the lion tamer, and steps inside.
The opening chapter to my latest novel, Beat the Drum, was written after a friend told me about her fear of snakes. Her story immediately sparked my imagination and conjured up the image of a young girl coming face to face with the creature inside a narrow, concrete tunnel. My friend gave me permission there and then to write about her experience but, now that I've finished the scene, I doubt she could even spot her own story.
My job as the writer was to take the idea, play with it, throw some characters and dialogue into the mix and then tell what happened next. What a great job!
Emma Mooney is a writer of Scottish contemporary fiction and is the author of A Beautiful Game. and Wings to Fly.