Posted by: Debrah Martin | August 3, 2014

In the beginning

In the beginning there are only words and ideas.

No, I’m not being biblical. Over the last few days a lot of people have been asking about Patchwork Man, ‘but where did you get the idea from?’ This is the answer. Words and ideas – and then they start to merge.

The idea that first popped up with Patchwork Man was life in the 1950’s, mainly as a result of listening to one of my mother’s reminiscences about rag and bone men – still around in the 1950’s and 60’s but long gone now. I vaguely remember seeing one myself – poor old horse trudging along dragging the cart loaded with junk. A prime example of one man’s rubbish being another’s fortune – Steptoe and Son style. The rag and bone man is still in chapter one as a cameo.

iStock_000005417014Medium Juste head in handsFrom there I looked at what would make someone want to bury their past – walk away and never revisit it. It has to be pretty bad to do that. Children’s homes at the time weren’t terrible, but they weren’t great either. The home Kenny/ Lawrence finds himself in combines as much of the bad as I could realistically include – and it also provides the prompt for a man to walk away and never want to look back.

And the funny thing about words and ideas is that once you get into a characters skin – their soul – the words and ideas find a way of sorting themselves out despite what you originally planned to do with them. Much like they do in real life. A character will only do what they would do if they were real, and so the plot is honed by them. They make their own world and their own dilemmas, and the words and ideas – whatever they started as – take on a power of their own.

I loved writing Patchwork Man and it’s sequel. Both contain lots of memories – of the sort Lawrence wants to forget, as well as ones he secretly treasures, because nothing, and no-one is ever all bad. And nothing, and no-one is ever that straightforward. In Lawrence’s world, that’s the understatement of the year …

Have a look here for a bit of atmosphere:

And thank you, C.J. Sumner, for the great review you wrote and which I’ve now reblogged 🙂  I’m so pleased you enjoyed it.

If you’re interested in both Patchwork Man and it’s sequel, Patchwork People – have a look at the offer I have on for Tuesday 5th August only HERE.

And there’s more about it here on Books Go Social 

Find me on Twitter: @StorytellerDeb

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And on my website:


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