Does it involve a lot of head scratching, pen chewing, and staring out of the window, waiting for a lightning bolt of inspiration? Or a laborious search for a snappy phrase that will encompass the spirit of the story and grab the attention of the e- book browsers?
That is how it was choosing the title for my first publication—but with the second it was easy. The Man in the Blue Flowered Shorts walked past me one day and wham! There was my book title and the seeds of a story all gained from a few moments of idle observation. I live on the coast and am quite used to holidaymakers ambling about in strange summery outfits, but this man cranked my literary detective into action. Who was this person who looked so on edge in his holiday clothes?
I never knew the real answer, as I only saw him once, but he had sparked my imagination with all sorts of questions.
Was he the victim of some malicious dress advice?
Why was he on holiday when he clearly didn’t want to be?
Why was he wearing socks with those sandals?
I would like to point out that I have nothing against men in sandals or shorts, especially of the blue flowered variety. But it’s that accessory thing. Shorts and sandals are fine—but worn with socks! The combination should be outlawed.
I know, especially here in the UK, the sandal wearing season is quite brief, and that relinquishing the socks can result in strap chaffing to soft white toes and heels which have been cocooned for most of the year. But that is no excuse for socks with sandals, is it? After all, you can purchase those nice discreet clear plasters to protect those vulnerable parts of your feet.
I now feel this blog is getting a little shallow because we all know that clothes shouldn’t really matter and it’s the person inside that counts. And, to be honest, on some cold summer days, I am tempted to search out the thigh high woollen socks I got for Christmas. Although I wouldn’t wear them with sandals—but then, I am not a man!
But however he was dressed, I will always be grateful to the intriguing man in the blue flowered shorts. He provided me with, not only a title to my latest romance, but the trigger for a sequel, The Man in the Buff Breeches. Then I might follow it with The Man in the …well, I’m looking around right now for an inspiration!