24 October 2018
Katie Flynn book

 

Dear readers, 

As many of you know my mother has had more than her fair share of health issues over the past few years and I’m afraid that the last few months has seen her condition worsen. Although she still remains in good spirits, she is finding it increasingly difficult to keep everything up to date. I am now becoming more and more involved in co-writing the Katie Flynn sagas, and I wanted to take this opportunity to give you more of an insight into our working relationship.

Mum and I have spent over a decade working at the Katie Flynn novels and I always assumed the reason we wrote so well together was because we had spent so much time working in each other’s company. After all, if you work with someone long enough you tend to know what the other is thinking before they’ve said it. However, mum believes it goes much deeper than that. You see her mother – my grandmother – was a dab hand when it came to storytelling, regaling her grandchildren with tales that were so fascinating we thought them to be real, and it’s because of this that mum believes the art of storytelling is in our genes. 

I’ve had a wonderful time these past few years, discussing various characters and storylines, as well as learning what works and what doesn’t. We love to chat and when it comes to discussing ideas for novels hours can seem like minutes. I remember one night in particular when we eventually stopped for breath we realised we had come up with a whole collection of stories, all of which we can’t wait to share with you! Mum’s health was a lot better back then, and even though she can’t natter away endlessly these days, she still loves discussing the books.

Working on Christmas at Tuppenny Corner was an absolute joy. The inspiration for the story came from a family day trip to the Liverpool Museum. I couldn’t believe how close the canal came to the Liver Buildings and when I got home I spoke to mum about it, and, of course she started to tell me all about the women who worked the Leeds and Liverpool Canal during the Second World War. As she talked we couldn’t keep the smile from our lips – it was a book and we knew it! We discussed the type of characters who would have worked the canals and the sort of lifestyle they would lead. I’ve always wanted to steer away from the conventional, so I suggested Harri and Pepè as two of the characters. I thought mum might have dismissed the suggestion, but she loved the idea of having two such unlikely characters aboard a small vessel, as I recall her reply was ‘Why not?’

Mum has been the best mentor I could ask for. She never dismisses anything out of hand, and she encourages me to say what I feel – to use my imagination, but above all else, to let go and have fun!

I love working together as a team, and when discussing the idea for our next book, I knew I’d done the right thing when that all-knowing smile appeared on her lips. For me, it’s like hitting the jackpot. I’m pleased to say I’ve seen that smile a lot lately, and I can’t wait to share our stories with you all. The next book, A Mother’s Love, will be out just in time for Mother’s Day – although I’ll tell you more about that next time.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, we do hope you enjoy reading Christmas at Tuppenny Corner as much as we enjoyed writing it. 

Best wishes, 

Holly Flynn x

Related articles