Like most authors and writers, I am frequently asked where I get my ideas from,
well here goes:

 While seated at a local Midlands restaurant the other evening, I couldn't help but notice the body language of the couple at the next table. I was drawn to them. The gent was so obviously head-over-heels in luurve. He was talking too fast and seemed nervous but ever so keen. The lass was reserved at first but by the time I had to leave she had loosened up considerably and I did notice her hand lingering hopefully and invitingly across the table towards for thought for one of my books right there!

Another time a large lady, with many pearls draped about her neck, was standing beside her little bald husband at the Howick post office. They seemed to get along famously. He seemed to love her every bossy word and she enjoyed telling him what to do!...A pearl of wisdom for one of my side-characters' in my novels.

It was this very morning that a car cut across and whizzed annoyingly in front of me as I was taking off from the traffic lights. I was incensed. How dare he! I later saw the same driver, having pulled over helping another car in flames...It sparked an idea for a scene in my next novel, life is full of misunderstandings.

Last Thursday my sister, a lover of nature, put her gumboots on and went out to spend time in the garden. Her new socks felt surprisingly soft and comfortable especially her left foot. Later, when she removed her boots she discovered a little dead squashed frog hanging off the end of her left sock...Ugh! Another idea to squash into my story.

Who can write a novel?

My answer is almost anyone who wants to, even those who suffer from aixelsyd (dyslexia!), like me. It's to be encouraged as it is a fabulous art. Just start! Put one word in front of the other and START.
You will never regret it. Store all your ideas in a little pocket notebook as you go along in life - don't do what I used to do - putting ideas on scraps of paper and then losing them, or finding them scrunched up at the bottom of my bag or having them washed in my pockets. People give me notebooks for my birthday and for Christmas all the time. It's bliss! One notebook beside my bed in case I wake up with a thought, another in my handbag, another in the cubby hole of my car and another on top of the microwave and another on top of the piano.

Once your novel is written get an excellent editor to go through it. I recommend Brenda George Literacy Agency. Brenda lives in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa and has taught me all I know about the craft of writing. Contact her by email on

There is also a brilliant book to get you started entitled "How to Write a Damn Good Novel" by James Frey. It's both hilarious and deadly serious.


Copyright Helena Davis