When you get novel ideas whist on holiday, whether it's Las Vegas or Laos, Malaysia or Morocco, New Zealand or New England - sometimes it's hard to remember when you've come back, and you're back into day-to-day life, just what you've had ideas about.

I was a Newletter publisher in my schooldays. Writing novels, even writing childrens' novels, seemed a grand idea when I was growing up. I've had ideas tossing about in my mind of writing a children's novel, on and off, for a long time.  Perhaps even publishing a children's novel or series of children's books - wouldn't that be something worthwhile?

It's probably when somebody has jogged your memory that you think.. ah ha, I know where that idea came from. However, ideas are just the fuel, and it needs that spark of inspiration to light it up. I've been travelling every opportunity I have throughout my life. Luckily, I married a compatible soul, and we spent many years on holiday together whenever work allowed us.

 Suffering a haemorrhage and a severe stroke sort of put a dent in the travel for a while.  In hindsight, it was a good move to travel when I did before the stroke happened. To Spain, Australia, Egypt,... the world was my oyster. Though now, many years after the stroke, I have slowly recovered with my husband's utmost belief in me, what was I going to do with my life?

I was very short on the skills of most working persons; I couldn't walk, talk, read, write, remember (short term memory was fragmented), paralysis on my right hand side ... after I suffered the stroke. In truth, it was like I was back at the age of two, all having to start over again.  Maybe if my thought processes could be ironed out a bit, perhaps creative writing might be an option, as in write a novel.

Armed with the knowledge of the travels I had done, (my long-term memory was still intact, thank goodness) snippets of the ideas from holidays, and letting the imagination loose - I've penned my first kids novel, split into two books.  Our Spanish house, Perleta Magic, is wonderfully quiet, which has given me the time and space to roll around and distill the ideas.

queenstown, south island, new zealand 2014

queenstown, south island, new zealand 2014

It's roughly based on my travels as a university student, all around New Zealand. But, I've set it prior to 1886, where... penguins, pelicans, sea-snail (paua), human natives, crows, wetas, spiders... have a huge adventure, exploring new places, trying different exotic foods, rescuing a friend or fighting a foe? ... the twists and turns of the story-line makes suspenseful page-turners for younger readers.

jacqui hynd: novelist, artist, stroke survivor...

What have snails, pearls, seaweed... got in common?  I'll leave you guessing.

Footnote: the Spanish property has been a revelation in terms of providing the perfect ambience to nurture thought processes to write a book, any book, be it cookbook, novel or whatever.  Some need total isolation to begin to write a book, perhaps a hidden desert island or an obscure desert location, although deserts have more scorpions and less water, and desert islands attract inconsiderate pirates and sharks lurking in the surf; neither have a supermarket and bar/restaurant nearby.

Our place is in the middle: quiet enough but not too quiet.  The local wildlife consists of colourful hoopoe birds flitting about and a few rabbits in the pine tree forest - and eating and drinking facilities within easy reach, plus the beach is 7km to the east and the city 7km west in the other direction.  Writers and authors are most welcome here.  It's a novel place to write one.