When I started writing the first chapter of ‘The Basilwade Chronicles’, I had no idea it would eventually be included in a book. It was simply a short story written to present at my writers' group meeting where once a month, members read a short story or excerpt from a work in progress.
The writing prompt which led to the story was to create a socially inept man and I came up with a character called Derek Carruthers who blunders his way through a speed-dating session, consistently offending all the women he meets. Not surprisingly, he doesn’t leave with anyone’s contact details.
I liked the two main characters so much, I decided I’d write another story involving them both to read out at the following meeting of the writers’ group. Each month after that, I took one or more people from the previous story and wrote them into a new tale. As well as tactless Derek Carruthers, there were characters such as the selfish vicar with a penchant for pickled onions, the ostentatious clairvoyant with mesmerising eyes, the would-be entrepreneur with an unhealthy inclination to bear a grudge and the couple in the retirement home who were often found in the broom cupboard together.