- About the Author
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I don’t know what made me set my latest novel in Lyme Regis. In fact I’m not even sure where the idea for the novel came from now, though I think that, like my short story, it started with a dream.
Night time is far and away the best time for ideas, especially that half-awake, half-asleep time that happens, just as you’re drifting off to sleep or just as you wake up. Migraines are another creative time for me. Not when I’m lying supine, my head splitting so much I can’t raise it from the pillow obviously. But when I’m recovering in bed, dozing slightly, my eyes covered to keep out the light, the sounds of the countryside outside: the birds singing, a distant tractor maybe, the odd passing car. It’s very quiet where we live. That’s when I get the best ideas, for novels or poetry, in bed, in my cool blue bedroom at home. So maybe that was when the idea was born.
I didn’t write it straight away because I was part-way through writing another book and since then I have been busy editing and publishing and setting up my website. So it is only now, two years maybe after the original idea, that I have begun working on it. The characters were some I had in mind anyway, one of them features in a short story I’ve written and I thought I would like to tell another part of her life. The story, as always, is written from experience, and I am glad that I have waited until now to write it because it fits in well with the stage of life I have reached.
When we were working we often used to drive down to Lyme Regis on fine summer evenings, straight from work. It takes about an hour to drive there from Taunton so we could be there around six. Plenty of time for a walk on The Cobb and dinner somewhere. Since these were spur of the moment visits we were always a little over-dressed for the seaside in our professional clothes for work and we used to laugh at the odd glances we attracted from the holidaymakers in their swimwear or shorts and t-shirts!
Last summer being so wet we didn’t get down to Lyme Regis at all so a few weeks ago we made the most of a sunny Saturday morning to drive down. I was particularly interested in looking for a house that my protagonists could live in, so we explored the back streets of the town before heading for the main street so I could work out how far away they would be from the shops and the sea front. Finally we did our usual route, along the sea front (stopping to buy an ice cream of course), then The Cobb and back up through the gardens to the car park. A wonderful day in the first of what we hope to be many sunny days to come this year.
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Bethany Askew is the author of five novels:
The Time Before, The World Within, Out of Step, Counting the Days and Poppy’s Seed.
She has also written a short story, The Night of the Storm, and she writes poetry.
Future projects include a new short story, this one for the young adult market, and another full-length novel.
In her spare time she enjoys reading, music, theatre, walking, Pilates, dancing and voluntary work.
Bethany is married and lives in Somerset.