I was asked at a recent coffee/book/gossip afternoon, for a good tip for writing enthusiasts. Apart from my usual “a tube of glue to spread on your pants before sitting down at the computer” ha, ha, I admitted that I would never go anywhere without a notebook. If you are thinking about writing a novel/story/bestseller I’d recommend a glance through your notebook or diary right now. Ideas should leap off the page, especially if you keep that diary locked! And re-read those crumpled notes under your pillow and in the scrapbook beside your bed. What has happened to raise your eyebrows? What secret confidence have you shared? What drama stretched you to breaking point? Who or what gave you the greatest joy/sadness/excitement/thrill? It’s the emotion you felt at this time that you can transplant into a fictional character. Mary Shelley did it so well when she wrote Frankenstein. Were the monster’s emotions also hers? Was she as lonely and desperate, as fearful and vulnerable as her creation? Mary adored her husband. But obsession was his undoing. Was it also Mary’s? We may never know the true story. The strong emotions on every mysterious and enthralling page are so vivid and honest that they give us an insight into Mary herself. And so it is for a writer. It’s the emotion that leads the way in – and creates the foundation for your bestseller.