It’s a simple enough question I’ve been asked many times yet, many times, I do have to stop myself from answering the question to have a good think about it first.
When I wrote my first short story, shortly after I started blogging in February 2014, I never gave the thought of where the idea for the story had come from. However, I remember very well the moment the story came to me and since then I’ve talked about it a lot. There I was, ironing the third of seven shirts, and up walked Grace Simmons demanding that I write and publish her story. Somehow, she’d managed to get the story into my head and, within seconds, I’d abandoned the ironing board for the keyboard. An hour later, I’d written Graces’ story, published it on my blog, and the first comment had come in. Smiling, I thanked Grace, who had long disappeared, and I returned to the ironing board.
Grace Simmons is a character from the first of the short stories, Last Train To Aldwych, which appear in my book, Glimpses. I’ve often wondered if the story was born from an idea or if I was lucky enough to have simply just had one of those ‘spark’ moments when you simply must start writing something down that quickly comes to mind. Fail to write it down and, within minutes, that idea is flying off towards the door of ‘forgotten ideas.’ How many times have we all had that door refuse to open for us?
Many of the other short stories in my book came to me from ideas I’d get after reading writing prompts, participating in writing challenges, or by looking at photos. Even reading comments on a blog post could spark off an idea. Some would come to me within seconds, whereas some ideas would take months to reveal themselves. However, Grace Simmons remains a mystery to me and, even today, I still cannot answer the question ‘where did the idea for Last Train To Aldwych’ come from?
When I sit down and try and think of where the idea for ‘Last Train To Aldwych’ came from, one of the first things that comes to mind is the number of times I had walked past Aldwych underground station in London. The office I worked in was a few minutes’ walk away and I’d often visit the station to buy a cheese and pickle sandwich for lunch. Just inside the station stood a sandwich kiosk that, to this day, made the best cheese and pickles sandwiches I’d ever tasted. I’d enjoy talking to Margaret, the lady that owned the kiosk, and we’d catch up on our everyday lives and try putting the world to rest.
It was a sad day when the station closed and even sadder, that on my way back to the office that day, I lost Margaret’s phone number. On the evening of 30th September 1997, by the time I realised I’d lost the piece of paper she’d written her home phone number on, Margaret and her cheese and pickle sandwiches were long gone.
I tried many avenues to find Margaret, but all to no avail. The mystery of what happened to her is as much a mystery as to where the idea for ‘Last Train To Aldwych’ came from. Then again, did those visits to Margaret plant the idea for the story deep within my mind? She had, after-all, told me stories about her and her family and how they would shelter in Aldwych underground station during the air-raids of World War 2. Have I, at last, solved the mystery of ‘Last Train To Aldwych’?
About the Author
My name is Hugh W. Roberts, and I live in both the town of Abergavenny and the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom.
I have always enjoyed writing and the fact I suffer from a mild form of dyslexia has not stopped me. Yes, I get things wrong with my reading and writing but I always find those mistakes humorous and always laugh about it. I no longer allow dyslexia get in my way. Now in my fifties, I thought it about time I let my writing become public and becoming a blogger seemed to be the perfect way for me to do this.
I share my life with my civil-partner, John and our Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Toby, who I both cherish with all my heart. I have a very positive outlook on life.
I started writing short stories at school but was never really encouraged to continue writing them. Then, many years later, I discovered blogging and wrote and published several short stories on my blog. They soon became hits and I was encouraged to publish some of the stories in a book. Now, finally, my dream of becoming a published author has come true with the publication of ‘Glimpses’ the first volume of 28 of my short stories. If like me, you enjoy shows such as The Twilight Zone, Tales Of The Unexpected, The Outer Limits and Tales From The Dark Side, then my short stories will hopefully take you on twists and turns to unexpected endings.
If you decide to buy and read my book then I’d be delighted if you would consider leaving a review on Amazon. Reviews help all authors and feedback is vital to improving my writing
I’ve always considered myself as a peoples’ person and I love to hear from anyone. Please do feel free to contact me.
Hugh. W. Roberts
After publishing some of his short stories on his blog, Hugh W. Roberts, who suffers from dyslexia, received numerous requests to publish his short stories in a book. Here, at last, are 28 short stories that will take your mind on a rollercoaster of a ride into worlds that conceal unexpected twists and turns. ‘Glimpses’ allows the reader a peek into the lives of everyday people who are about to have life lead them on an unpredicted path. From a mysterious deadly iPad app, to a hole in the fence that is not all it seems, to a strange lipstick that appears to have a life of its own, you will encounter terror, laughter, sadness, shock and many other emotions on journeys which promise a thrilling and gripping climax. If you are a lover of shows such as ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’, then you’re in for a real treat with this first collection of short stories from Hugh. Here’s what one reader has already said about the book. “If you’re looking for a thoroughly entertaining read, Glimpses is the book for you. Each story has been cleverly crafted; through Hugh’s wonderful imagination, he has the ability to whisk you away to many different worlds, past, present and future. Every story makes a compelling read and just when you think you know what’s going to happen next, Hugh masterfully reveals a brilliant twist. With bite-size and longer stories, Glimpses is a must-read. I loved it.” – Esther Newton, Writer, and Author. Dare you take a glimpse into the lives of these unsuspecting characters?
Glimpses is available via Amazon
Read author Judith Barrow’s review of Glimpses here.
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