The place my writing journey began – Lisa Hobman

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By Lisa Hobman

I’m often asked what inspired me to begin writing back in 2012. But my passion for the written word isn’t actually a recent thing. I’ve always written in some form or other, whether it has been poetry or song lyrics. It started at school when I had big dreams of being an author. I would produce little cartoon sketches and write stories to accompany them but even though drawing was something I also loved to do it was never really my strong suit.

So eventually I began to focus on words rather than pictures. I think my love of writing was something I inherited from my dad. His poetry was something I grew up with and his words are truly beautiful.

As a teenager I began to sing in bands with my peers and it was then that I tried my hand at song writing. This has continued and I’ve since written songs that feature in my published books. You see I have a soft spot for writing stories about musicians. Greg in A Seaside Escape is no different.

The story in A Seaside Escape was inspired by a visit to Scotland with my family when my daughter was a baby. We visited a little place called Clachan Seil and it was then that I fell in love the Bridge Over the Atlantic. It’s a pretty little structure designed by architect Robert Mylne and opened in 1793 to join Easdale Island to mainland Scotland. Even though we were only there for a matter of hours the place stayed with me and sparked ideas for stories in my mind. Although, working, motherhood and studying were really my priorities back then so the timing just wasn’t right.

The Scottish people and landscape had such a magnetic pull for me that my family and I relocated to the south of Scotland back in 2012 and we are now fully ensconced in our gorgeous little village and surrounded by the timeless beauty of the Scottish Borders countryside. A major plus side to this move is that in relocating I found myself with the opportunity to finally write.

Another visit to the bridge many years after that first time reignited that initial spark and I discussed my ideas with my husband. It was he who encouraged me to write a book and although I was filled with self-doubt I decided to give it a go. Once I began, the story of Mallory Westerman and her own relocation to Scotland flowed and was written relatively quickly in a matter of months.

I initially had no intentions of trying to publish. It was merely an exercise to prove to myself I could achieve something as big as writing a full-length novel but after friends read the manuscript the general consensus of opinion was that I should try. Earlier this year my literary agent Tracy Brennan of Trace Literary Agency established a deal for me with Aria Fiction and they loved the book which was known as Bridge Over the Atlantic at that time. I was assigned a wonderful editor who worked with me on the story to make improvements and we rebranded the book. Aria designed a stunning new cover which I now have framed in my office. A Seaside Escape will be released on October 1st and I can’t wait for everyone to read it.

I was back up at Clachan Seil this summer after I signed with Aria and standing on the bridge once more was a very emotional experience for me. People often ask me if the story is based on my own life and I always say that there are similarities such as Mallory’s relocation and her little black dog. But I suppose the main similarity is that the little stone bridge not only changed the life of my fictional character, but it changed mine too. Without standing on the bridge all those years ago and gazing out at the Atlantic Ocean I may never have put pen to paper. Suffice it to say, that little stone bridge will forever have a very special place in my heart.

Lisa Hobman’s debut novel, Bridge Over the Atlantic, was shortlisted in the 2014 RNA. Her stories centre around believable, yet down-to-earth characters and the places in Scotland she has visited and fallen in love with. She is a happily married mum of one with two energetic dogs.

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