I wanted to write about auction houses because it seemed every second television programme seemed to feature them. I loved these programmes and felt that if people wanted to watch programmes they might also want to read books about auction houses.
I was lucky in that I had a wonderful contact in The Cotswold Auction house to call on for research. I did what amounted to work experience with them and enjoyed it so much I was prepared to give up writing and become an auction house porter. However I refrained and went on to write the book.
Flora’s Lot also has my choir in it. I’ve been a member for over 20 years and love it. My fellow second sopranos complained that I hadn’t written about a choir yet so I felt obliged.
And finally, Flora is based on my daughter. She too is blonde and as she drove me about the place (I don’t drive) I wondered if she knew it wasn’t usual for everyone to let you out and be so kind on the road. What was it like to be blonde? I wanted to explore it a little. One of the downsides are that people can assume you’re stupid.
To be fair to my daughter, she often lets people out of side roads when she’s driving now she’s no longer 18. She did reverse the boat and trailer onto the ferry though. (Not really a spoiler!)