I have a very good relationship with my own sister, despite living over a hundred miles apart, but I’ve sometimes wondered if our relationship would be different if we lived closer or, indeed, in each other’s pockets. Would we see a lot of each other or would we get on each other’s nerves? With Sister, Sister, I took this idea to the extreme and had my two sisters, Clare and Alice, separated when they were young children and then, as adults, having to get to know each other all over again. Do they automatically love each other or do they just love the memory of one another? Do they even like each other? Sometimes you don’t like your family but you always love them because of the deep bond you share, but if you haven’t got that bond in the first place, what happens if you don’t like them? It was these sorts of questions that helped me develop the relationship between Clare and Alice as reunited adults.
However, this wasn’t the first idea for writing the book. I was having a conversation with a friend and although I can’t say exactly what the conversation was about as it would give away an important revelation in the book, it did spark the beginnings of an idea. From this I was able to play out a scene in my mind which then led to more questions.
Why would someone do that?
Who would do that?
What was their motive?
By answering those three questions I was able to develop the initial scene into something more solid and blend it with my questions about sisters and their relationship with each other. It was from there that the whole story of Sister, Sister developed.
So, for me, inspiration is a fluid and organic process. By asking a few questions it takes on a life of its own, pulling together constructed questions and random every day exchanges. Sometimes the most unremarkable conversations can suddenly become the starting block for a much more remarkable story.
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Thank you for sharing your inspiration for Sister, Sister with us all.
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