What Inspired Me to Write My Mr Keats
Some of you may have noticed me tweeting a lot about something called My Mr Keats and showing a link to the website Unbound. That is because I am currently Crowdfunding to get my novel (My Mr Keats) published!
I’ve explained all about Unbound in a page post here, but to summarise Unbound are a specific crowdfunding platform for books. Much like Kickstarter & JustGiving, Unbound help authors raise money and awareness for their books which would otherwise struggle to be published. Books that raise 100% of their total amount are edited, printed and published professionally, via Penguin Random House!
I was lucky enough to have my book accepted for crowdfunding at Unbound! Previous books, and current books, to be funded on Unbound have included The Good Immigrant (partly funded by JK Rowling), Johnathon Coe, Katy Brand, Janet Ellis and more!
It is really exciting but at the same time a lot of hard work! And I need all the help I can get! Where possible if you can ReTweet my tweets or pledge yourself I would be eternally grateful! But Unbound is there to let Readers choose what they want to read. So on that note I am going to use my blog to tell you more about my book!
Starting with: What Inspired me to write My Mr Keats!
When people ask me this question it comes down to three things:
The First Thing
The first being a story I was told as a child, of my Great-Great-Uncle (George Henry) who fought in the First World War. He survived, but in the last few months of the war he was in a Prisoner of War camp. George did return to England, but he had caught TB in the camp. He subsequently died a few years later.
At the time, as a six of seven year old, I wondered if it would have been kinder or crueler for him not to have returned. Instead of dying and suffering in front of his family, to have been killed in action abroad would be kinder. It’s a very dark thought for a child. But I also remember thinking that if I had been alive at the time I would have made sure that he felt loved before he passed away. I would have sat with him, brought him things and read my stories to him. It was obviously a thought that stayed with me.
The Second Thing
The second thing was that my mother suffers from terrible chronic asthma. A dangerous disease – a lung disease, similar to my Great-Great Uncle. She’s had it all her life, which means I have witnessed it entirely throughout my own. Yet I don’t think of my mother as ill, that is partly to do with the fact that I have grown up with it.
It’s strange to think back now and remember what I witnessed as a child; my mother suffering, falling down unable to breathe. It should be horrifying! And it makes you wonder how I, as a child, coped. Yet as a child it was normal and although I did understand it I couldn’t grasp it fully. It was just normal. We just lived with it.
We sometimes forget how capable children are with dealing with things like that, even when we wonder as adults how we could. You forget how strong children are.
The Third Thing
And thirdly, the thing that pulled it all together and made me write. At the time of writing I had just seen a movie called Bright Star.
It’s a movie about the life of John Keats, the poet who died at the age of 25 from consumption. Again, another lung disease. It was the first time I connected with poetry, I could read it all day. I noticed the changes of his earlier poetry to the later ones, when he knew he was dying. He was twenty-five, he had lost his family to the disease and he had just fallen in love. Yet he knew it was all going to end.
The poetry he writes suddenly goes from being pretty to being very visceral, with emotive stanzas. He often describes the inevitability of dying: ‘Oh twas born to die’ and suchlike. It really resonated with me. And clearly struck a chord with my memories too as those thoughts about my great-great uncle and my mother returned.
The characters formed themselves, the dying boy, the young girl, and the idea that she’s going to lose this boy yet he can’t grasp it to understand it. Which is turn formed into the two protagonists of my YA to New Adult historical novel: Kitty Pike & Johnny Castleton.
And that is what inspired me to write this story.
Please help me Crowdfund my novel
If you like the sound of my novel or want to learn more about Unbound please click on this link & share my story!
I need all the help I can get! So please, please help me where you can! And check out some of the other books on Unbound!