I write notes down anywhere and everywhere but mainly whilst traveling, something I do a lot of. Airports are a great source for people watching and for ideas forming; I have always kept a small pad in my handbag for jotting ideas down at random. I am on to my fifth pad and it is interesting looking back through them to see what I have written in the past. The idea for ‘The Shield’ was my first jotting in my first note book from many years ago.
I write at home in Dubai, mostly sitting at the table in the dining room, high backed chairs to support my back with my laptop on the table along with a cup of coffee and an occasional snack of banana, or cut up apple. Sometimes I can write for a good few hours, the time just flies by. I don’t plan the way a story grows when I write. I research the period and what happened in that time, a background to the sixties, the music and the news of the period are noted in the book to add substance to the writing.
I look through my research before I start to write but what happens to the main characters evolves from my brain onto the laptop screen via my typing. When I read it back to myself it is a really exciting process. I think of each writing session as a journey of discovery, for myself as well as the reader.
I started to write these adventure books for my grandson as I couldn’t find anything to read to him that didn’t feature vampires, zombies and farts, not good bedtime reading but it wasn’t until I found myself living in Doha and for the first time in my life found I had the time to do it. In Doha I sat at my husband’s desk in his study where his computer was installed. It has a large screen and after sitting and writing for a few hours I amazed myself when I saw how many thousand words I had written. My laptop doesn’t have a word count or if it has I haven’t discovered it yet. The study where my husband’s desk stood was furthest away from the hot sun it was cool which is a bonus in Qatar.
As I write this post I am in France, I have escaped the heat of summer in Dubai as I do each year to briefly live in this beautiful area of France, the Limousine. It is hot but not uncomfortably so and I am sat at the table outside in the garden with the large lime green, rectangular umbrella casting its shade over me. A pot of coffee is at my elbow with my favourite mug and a spoon, milk I keep in the fridge so have to travel inside to the kitchen to add to my coffee. It would curdle if left out in this sunshine. I sit for hours at this table when in writing mode. This is my very favourite place to write because of the quiet. No noise other than the birdsong keeps me company, apart from now when my sister, who is currently watching tennis on the television, is staying with me. I have a background noise of the ball bouncing on the grass court at Wimbledon and my sister’s exclamations at the amazing tennis rallies. No idea who is playing but it sounds like a good match.
I try not to eat snacks whilst writing, I have a good breakfast and then sometimes only a bowl of cherries, my most favourite fruit, French cherries are wonderful, I often eat my own weight in them when I arrive each summer. I then don’t eat until late afternoon, thus consuming only two meals a day, enough when sitting at the table writing not using physical energy only brain energy.
My long suffering husband in Dubai is quite used to me jumping out of bed early morning to write my ideas down in my notebook as they come to me. I tend to get them in that half-awake time between sleep and being fully awake. The first time I did this he came plodding after me, half awake, wondering what on earth was the matter was I ill, did I need anything and when he found that it was me having a creative idea he returned to bed grumbling that his wife was slightly potty.
About the author: Originally heralding from the North of England, C.J Bentley has traveled extensively and enjoyed living in a variety of countries across the world from Dubai to Doha, Qatar and now the countryside in the South of France. A background in teaching and childcare she has always enjoyed creating adventure short stories. However, it was when she became a grandma and with her grandchildren growing up that she discovered that books seemed to contain only stories of vampires, zombies and farts that she decided seriously to take matters into her own hands and put pen to paper which today she calls The Finder Series.
People lose their belongings. That is a fact of life. It can happen by accident, but sometimes it can happen when you put them in a very safe place and forget where that safe place is. Not many people are good at finding them again.
A young, gutsy girl with a kind heart, who’s searching for her own identity growing up in the 1960s, just happens to be very good at finding things. Can she be the one to help return whatever is lost – anywhere and at any time – to its original owner?
With the help of a beautiful yet mysterious wise woman and a chivalrous knight she does just that. She finds and returns his shield, lost in battle, which unbeknown to her holds a secret that is important to his king, the safety of the kingdom, and the life of the daughter of his best friend.
The Shield is the first story in The Finder Series, taking our heroine on extraordinary journeys back in time. Her first adventure takes place in Medieval England in 1340 where she meets King Edward III, his wife, Philippa, and their son who will later become the Black Prince.
For our review of The Shield go here.