Story of ‘The Sea House’
Sometimes it’s tricky to know where ideas spring from. Sometimes it’s hard to think why they’ve just popped into your head. But you often remember the exact moment they happen.
I was on holiday, sitting at a bus stop. I was thinking of all these extraordinary fish I’d seen while snorkelling with my son Gabriel.
I must have been feeling a bit overwhelmed by the experience, because it happened right there and then. The idea forThe Sea Housecame into my head, and it kept washing over me for months to come.
I’ve always loved writing. It’s the day job. Writing news headlines, writing scripts for television. Tight, concise use of words. Factually correct. Short sentences.
Writing for children is a bit different. Even before having my son, I read children’s books as an adult and once Gabriel was born, I had an excuse to really get stuck in. The times we’ve spent reading together will always be some of my most treasured memories.
I started writing little rhyming stories myself to read to him. When he seemed to enjoy them, gradually I started to wonder whether any other children might like what I’d written too. You never know, could be worth a shot? Anyway, it would be fun trying.
When I actually had the chance to tell the wonderful editor at Firefly publishers about my idea for ‘The Sea House’, I hardly dared hope that it may one day become a book.
’It’s about a girl called Coral,’I rambled,‘her parents have died and one night, Coral cries so much she fills her whole house up with her tears. Those tears create a magical, fun, sea world, right in her own home.
But there is a darkness in the house too. Lurking in the heart of her home, are those who want to drag her down into the depths. Will Coral be able to find the strength to confront her enemy and save herself and her friends? Or will she be lost forever?
The conflict in the house represents Coral’s struggleinside, between becoming consumed with grief or finding a way through. For her it’s about dealing with bereavement, but the story is about finding strength, courage, hope and love during any difficult time.’
Of course it didn’t come out like that when I was talking to Janet. I was gabbling, jumbled words tumbling out. But miraculously, Janet seemed to think there may be something in it. I was told to go off, write a few chapters and she would have a look at them.
Many, many months on, here we are. This really is a dream come true, especially since the theme of the story couldn’t be more personal for me.
I remember being about halfway through writing the book one morning and suddenly stopping. I couldn’t believe it hadn’t struck me before. I lost my dad when I was in my teens. He drowned while he was on holiday, hitting his head diving into the sea. Still hard to think about, even after all these years.
Drying my tears, I started typing once again and decided to embrace it. I knew exactly now why I wanted to write this story.
So I hope you’ll want to come with me on Coral’s journey. Meet Fabulous, the most sparkly fish in the ocean. Ramone, an ancient dude of a turtle, Bubba the puffer and many more - before you face Stealth the stingray and his deadly Urchin Army.
This story may be an indoor, underwater, riotous sea spectacular, but it is a story with a fight for love and happiness at its heart.