We’ve been quite busy lately. We knew we had an upcoming spoken word event and that we wanted a new collaborative short story to read out. When could we fit in the writing of it?

Bardsey Island!

We’d planned a research trip for the second Clovenhoof book. We needed to travel from the Midlands to the tip of the Lleyn peninsula in Wales. It’s about a four hour drive each way.

Could we put the travel time to good use? We had plenty of practical Clovenhoof-related things to talk about, but could we also thrash out a short story?

We thought we could. Fuelled by jaffa cakes we started to explore some ideas. We wanted a saint story. We’d already earmarked St Christopher as being a likely candidate as he (amongst others) had his feast day removed from the calendar by the pope in 1969 on the basis that he probably didn’t exist. We can thank 1,227 QI Facts To Blow Your Socks Off for that nugget. It’s a goldmine of intriguing tidbits that will set your mind racing. As we went up and down Welsh mountainsides, Iain used the unreliable 3G connection to retrieve some extra detail and captured our thoughts on his netbook as I drove. It was a helpful way to distract our over-active imaginations from the perilous drop at the side of the road.

I wonder now whether the scenery played some part in our thought processes. Someone falling into a lake… is it possible that we thought of that as we drove past Lake Bala? I think we probably did.
It was a very interesting way to develop a story, and in fact spawned material that will lead to at least another one.
The story that we wrote was The Patron Saint of Nothing at All and you can hear Iain reading it out here, at the spoken word event “Saints, Sinners and Fools”.