07-14-18 Cassandra O’Leary

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Being An Author In The UK #amwriting

Hi, I'm Pippa Jay, author of scifi and the supernatural with a romantic soul. One thing I love about being a UK author is how the settings and locations around me inspire my writing. It might seem odd that everyday contemporary Earth settings can find their way into alien planets and cultures, even onto space stations and into the far future. But that's what I love about them. Pretty much anything in my everyday life can lead to another story.

Mersea mudflats

For instance, drive half an hour from home and you have a choice of beaches. From the mudflats of Mersea (desolate, and yet beautiful in their stark appearance) came my marine planet Ulto Marinos. The glorious sandy beaches of Frinton-on-Sea where we spend whole days over the summer sparked the idea of the tropical island on Metraxi where my two main characters in Keir finally realized their true feelings for one another. And debris on the stonier sections of Mersea beach sparked the idea for my first short story, The Bones of the Sea.

Weird stone stumps at Mersea
Frinton beach
And it isn't just the more 'exotic' locations either. This fountain in Colchester town centre became the focal point for a creative writing exercise during a course I did with the Open University. Later it became the centrepiece on a space station called Venus Ascendant that promises the romantic getaway of your dreams, with holographic suits and an empathic AI who can read and fulfill all your desires.

It's since been filled in and planted up due to being vandalized too many times *sadness* but it's been immortalized in one of my stories at least.

Not a dragon or a snake skull, but the pelvis of a bird
Stag beetle
And not being far from the countryside or the local zoo, there are plenty of interesting things to be found. Um, I have a bit of a reputation for liking weird things...

Pet stick insect

Our pet leopard gecko. Love reptiles!

There *are* downsides. The UK is a small island, after all, and every year I sigh as my fellow US authors rave about travelling to the RT convention or RWA events. Or my fellow fangirls go to the big SF conventions. Most of my readers are in the US, and the chances of me ever being able to do a signing over there and actually meet any of them (or any of my author friends) is remote. But I would never move. Not while I love where I live and it still provides so much fodder for my writing!

Want to chat? Find me on Twitter as @pippajaygreen or at my website.


Sarah Raplee said...

I love how your environment inspires your writing, Pippa! The world is an amazing place *everywhere* if we open our eyes and hearts. I'd love to visit the UK, but that is a remote possibility for me. Thank you for sharing bits and pieces with us.

Diana McCollum said...

Hi, Pippa,
Love your blog post! I would love to visit the UK, but it's not in my future right now. If you ever come to America, you can stay at our house in Central Oregon! We have tons of unusual places we can take you too. The desert here with all the volcanic activity looks a lot like a SFi movie set. And critters galore! I try to pick up interesting facts or pictures from travels to use in future books. Have a good summer!

Judith Ashley said...

Very cool post, Pippa. I've set my fictional city of Fremont, OR in the geographic location of Portland, OR. I love the scenery of the Pacific Northwest and use it extensively. However, I have traveled and so the second book in my series is set in part in Ireland (there in 1994), parts of #3 are in Italy (there in 1997). Number 5 is in Rhode Island/Massachusetts and I've been in New England (1984). The Oregon Coast is mentioned or visited in most of my books and I make an effort to spend time watching the waves crash on the rocks at least once a year if not more often.

Thanks for sharing your creative vision with us!

Pippa Jay said...

Thanks all!

Diana. I'd love to take you up on that offer one day. If only flying wasn't so expensive.