Christine Stovell says, ‘Picture This.’

Ahhh! It’s that time again! Having just delivered Book 3, it’s time to open a brand new notebook. My notebooks aren’t so much about the writing, but for gathering all those fleeting thoughts, feelings, words, and clippings that will provide the creative compost for the next novel. I really enjoy this stage; it’s like falling in love again and, yes, I know I’ll wonder what the attraction was at some point along the way, but my notebooks serve to remind me of what excited me about the project in the first place.

I can hardly call myself a photographer, but I do carry a camera with me when I’m out, so I’ll start a photo file for the book, too. That way I have a factual record of locations or the changing seasons and can see exactly what that bluebell wood, for example, looked like in the rain.Bluebell wood in the rain

And then, oooh, there’s Pinterest ( … I was a bit hesitant at first, but so enjoyed setting up what I call my ‘springboards’ – because they illustrate some of the images and inspiration which provided the ‘jumping off’ points – for Turning the Tide and Move Over Darling, that I set up a secret board for my third novel as soon as I began work on the book. For me, images are a great way to evoke the mood and sense of the story I’m trying to tell… mind you, there are so many lovely pictures out there it can get a bit addictive, so be warned! Anyway, my secret board for Book 3’s no secret any more, but I now have a new board for Book 4 and the perfect excuse to peruse Pinterest in the name of research…