A New Year Brings New Stories

Sally with her second book Foxglove Squirrel Saves The Day! Illustrated by Barbara Warwick

Looking Ahead in 2022

A new year brings ideas for new stories! Every author hopes this is true. As we begin 2022 with high cases of Covid, I am following up on my goals to complete the Fairy Hollow Chronicles series.

This Spring, the third book in the series will be published called The Fairy Hollow Gold Treasure Adventure. Another adventure story for all the characters in Fairy Hollow introducing some new ones as well. How would you feel if you found an old treasure map? Would you try to find the treasure on your own or get help? Have you ever spoken to a real life pirate before? Can pirates be kind or are they all mean and interested only in treasure? Is Foxglove Squirrel about to uncover the truth? These are some questions that will be answered in the book.

Book 1 Fairy Hollow Chronicles by Sally de la Rue Browne Illustrated by Barbara Warwick

New Ideas

Three lovely ladies in England before WW2. My Mother is the lady on the left.

Many books have been written about WW2 and some are quite popular right now such as the Rose Code and Code Name Helene. These are all fabulous stories. My idea for the next book is about my mother’s experiences working for a club in London for Canadian soldiers. It was called The Beaver Club but will be The Maple Leaf Club for my story. Few people know that the Canadians were looked after in this club with food, help with travel around London using the underground and buses, reading newspapers, and getting health and lodging advice. It will be a fascinating story especially with a murder and a visit from Royalty! It’s hard to imagine a club without cell phones, computers and big screen TVs as we have today. The club was unique in London because soldiers could get pancakes with real maple syrup which became their Canadian experience away from home.

A Canadian soldier getting advice at the club.
Reading newspapers at the club.

Writing It Down

It’s always challenging to come up with a wonderful story to entertain the reader. I hope to have this book about the club finished by the end of 2022.

Food For Thought

Chocolate Cake

Another book that is in the works is a cookbook with food safety practices. Here is a chocolate cake which is my recipe made with spelt flour. With my background in public health, I’m well aware of the need for safe practices when preparing food. Fortunately, cakes don’t present much of a risk except too many calories unless you want to eat raw cake batter! Flour can contain E.coli which is destroyed by cooking. It’s now not a good idea to taste raw cookie or cake batter for that reason due to the risk of food poisoning.

Writing Updates

The writer's desk
The blank page is a challenging start!

These ideas for new story lines are a challenging beginning to the new year! I will write more in future posts.

Best wishes to everyone for a better 2022!

What Is The Inspiration for a Character in a Book?

What is the inspiration for a character when writing a book? Inspiration can take many forms and ends up providing the author with characters that can be used in the book being written.

Inspiration Helps Authors with Book Titles

What Inspires the Name of a Character?

When I first started thinking of ideas for my children’s book The Fairy Hollow Chronicles, I took inspiration from my own children to create the characters. My daughter loved fairies when she was very young so that provided me with the idea for four fairies. Adventures are always fun when you are a child so the idea that the fairies had to go on an adventure was born. Then, the names came easily as I chose names of her friends from elementary school.

Characters from the Fairy Hollow Chronicles – Christy, Katie, Megan & Lizzie

What Should Characters Wear?

Authors need to describe their characters. In The Fairy Hollow Chronicles, the four fairies are tiny so it was easy to have them dressed in ballerina tutus with their hair in buns. Ballerinas always wear buns. Young girls who take ballet enjoy wearing the tutus and having their hair in buns. The mayor in the book needed to be in a suit as he means business. The idea for the toad came from various stories I read as a child and also the toad character fits the mayor character perfectly.

My mother dining out with friends in Vancouver – What could they be talking about and how do they know each other?
Pages from The Fairy Hollow Chronicles
Pages from The Fairy Hollow Chronicles – Fairies dressed as ballerinas.

Photographs

Ideas for other books that I am writing came from photographs. Sometimes a photograph can inspire an author to write a story based on what might be happening in that photo. The photos from WW2 in England are an inspiration and ask me to write about what the young men and women in the photos are laughing about, worried about, thinking about and how the war affected them. As the daughter of parents who went through WW2, I am intrigued to include in my book these points to round out my characters.

My mother and her friend in 1935 – A photograph for inspiration – What is going on in this photo?

Inspiration is the Summary of Many Ideas

The inspiration for characters in a book comes from everything including family, friends, photos, artwork, current fashion, and the author’s imagination. By using all these ideas, the characters come to life which makes enjoyable reading for all of us.

Opportunities for Young Women in WW2 in England

Women today do not know how far we have come. It wasn’t that long ago that women were raised to get married and that was it. No career was to be considered. Not even university.

A Job in London


While researching my book Olive’s Obsession based on Olive working at the Beaver Club in London during the war, I have found that there were not many choices for young women. Olive, who in real life was my mother, went to Pitmans’ College in London to learn shorthand. She then went on to learn typing and worked as a secretary for such amazing companies as Quaker Oats and the EverReady Battery Company. The Ever Ready Battery Company got bombed during the war and very fortunately all the staff were gone as it was night time so no one lost their lives.

Life in London

Olive and her friend in London in WW2

My Mother always said that she was in London working but did not see a lot of war going on. She maybe said that so that we, my sister and I, growing up would not think she had suffered. They all suffered severely especially with the bomb shelters being in the tube at any hour when the alarm sounded. Also, the lack of food and rationing books that had to be presented when purchasing food. Everything was for the war effort.

Voluntary Work in the Red Cross

Volunteers in the Red Cross

What Were Your Opportunities?

As for the opportunities, you were either a teacher, nurse or secretary. You were expected to marry young otherwise you were considered an “old maid” which many dreaded. If you were a member of the aristocracy, then you were expected to marry high up. No career was in the cards for you. That explains why volunteer work became popular with the aristocracy as they were appearing to do good for the lower classes. The class system existed in Great Britain at the time.

Ladies Having Tea in London

I plan on researching about job opportunities in World War II for young women to find out what their lives were really like.