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Inspiring The Festival Spirit

When it comes to inspiring story-telling, a picture can be worth a thousand words, so I thought I'd do a series here at the Hot-Spot about some of my pictoral inspirations for my Total E-Bound novellas.

Previously, I shared my inspiration for Playing with Prudence and Taking It Off. This month, just over a year since it was originally published, I can't wait to chat with you about The Festival Spirit.

The Festival Spirit came about largely because I was glum that I couldn't attend music festivals like Latitude or Glastonbury that year. The amazing lineups were being announced, it was the middle of winter, and I was desperate to wish myself out of grey January and into a summery field.

The call from Total E-Bound for faery stories set at the summer solstice sounded exactly what I was looking for -- a chance to add a bit of magic to a great British tradition with a fantastic British e-publisher!

In the story, singer Mira has an erotic adventure with rockstars Johnny and Lee at a hot summer music festival. For my heroine, I envisioned someone pretty, fiery and talented; someone who liked to dress up and down. Lily Allen seemed like the perfect choice to base her on, though Mira's definitely her own woman. Just picture the wellies with this outfit.

Johnny and Lee have a close relationship. Some wonder how close. In Johnny, I wanted to capture the contradictions of a man in total control musically, but very much wanting to submit in every other way. When he's this electric, when he's begging for it, is it any wonder he tempted Mira, Lee and the faery?

I actually took this photograph at sunset, at the Blur concert in Hyde Park in 2009. (Just off to the side is my girlfriend, enraptured by the epic bromance reunion of Damon and Graham.) I loved it so much I used it as the cover art for my Festival Spirit music mix -- it absolutely captures the heart of what summer music festivals are all about. Go on,have a listen to the summer playlist I put together for the story (on Spotify here, or track listing here). Best heard while you're prepping for a BBQ or enjoying a Pimms on the patio.

There's magic in the lights of an outdoor concert at night. Strobe and smoke and glitter, paired with thunderous, glorious cacophony of sound.

I don't want to spoil the faeries if you haven't already read the story, but let's just say that my main inspiration came when I was leaving a gig in a park. The noise of the birds lifting off the trees was tremendous -- they weren't happy that their turf had been invaded.

Check out my Author Spotlight interview with Total E-Bound & for more on my novellas, music mixes, excerpts, free stories and more, visit

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