Friday, 27 January 2017

Morton S. Gray about writing The Girl on the Beach

Where do I get my inspiration?

Inspiration is a strange thing. I find if I’m looking for it, I don’t necessarily find it, but if I’m busy doing something else it strikes!

It is almost as if ideas have a consciousness and take great delight in catching you out. I’m not the only person who thinks like that, Elizabeth Gilbert, famous for the book made into a film, Eat, Pray, Love, has written a book called Big Magic about the wonder of creativity. In it she talks about ideas swirling around in the ether waiting for the perfect partner to bring them into the world.

Like many writers, I rip pictures from magazines and articles from newspapers that inspire me and keep them in a box. I trace family trees and often find storylines in the research.

Mostly, my books start with a character with an intriguing background or situation and then, if I let it and don’t try to force it, their story will unfold onto my notebook pages.

In the case of my debut romantic suspense novel, The Girl on the Beach, published in e-book format on 24 January 2017 by Choc Lit, the story was born from a combination of factors – a couple of interesting news articles and an art competition run by a friend at my son’s high school.

My character, Ellie Golden arrives to judge the school art competition and is introduced to the new headteacher, but she is pretty sure she has known the man before.

How did it feel writing the book?

I love writing novels. The Girl on the Beach just flowed out of me and the first draft was complete in a month. I write mainly long-hand in notebooks wherever I happen to be – cafes, doctor’s and dentist’s waiting rooms, son’s swimming lessons, waiting to pick up my son, etc. For me, this first urgent spark of creativity is magical and I crave it like chocolate. I often wake in the middle of the night to scribble out a scene.

The difficult bit is the editing of the novel. It takes months of work to get a book up to the standard to send to a publisher or agent, ensuring there are no plot holes, no inconsistencies, not too many repeated words, phrases or clichés.

Once the book has been accepted by a publisher or agent, it all begins again, as they have their own rounds of edits to polish the book for publication. I must have read The Girl on the Beach through at least thirty times. The result of all this work is, of course, a much better book and you keep your fingers crossed that no minor errors have escaped your eye, or that of your editor and proof reader.

Nothing can take away that magical feeling of having a finished product, a completed story, a novel. I hope that my readers enjoy The Girl on the Beach.

Blurb for The Girl on the Beach

Who is Harry Dixon?

When Ellie Golden meets Harry Dixon, she can’t help but feel she recognises him from somewhere. But when she finally realises who he is, she can’t believe it – because the man she met on the beach all those years before wasn’t called Harry Dixon. And, what’s more, that man is dead.

For a woman trying to outrun her troubled past and protect her son, Harry’s presence is deeply unsettling – and even more disconcerting than coming face to face with a dead man, is the fact that Harry seems to have no recollection of ever having met Ellie before. At least that’s what he says …

But perhaps Harry isn’t the person Ellie should be worried about. Because there’s a far more dangerous figure from the past lurking just outside of the new life she has built for herself, biding his time, just waiting to strike.

Biography for Morton S. Gray

Morton lives with her husband, two sons and Lily, the tiny white dog, in Worcestershire, U.K. She has been reading and writing fiction for as long as she can remember, penning her first attempt at a novel aged fourteen, the plot of which closely resembled an Errol Flynn film. As with many authors, life got in the way of writing for many years until she won a short story competition in 2006 and the spark was well and truly reignited.

She studied creative writing with the Open College of the Arts and joined the Romantic Novelists’ New Writers’ Scheme in 2012. After shortlisting in several first chapter competitions, she won The Choc Lit Publishing Search for a Star competition in 2016 with her novel ‘The Girl on the Beach’. This debut novel is published on 24 January 2017. The story follows a woman with a troubled past as she tries to unravel the mystery surrounding her son’s headteacher, Harry Dixon.

Previous 'incarnations' were in committee services, staff development and training. Morton has a Business Studies degree and is a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Reiki Master. She also has diplomas in Tuina Acupressure Massage and Energy Field Therapy.

She enjoys crafts, history and loves tracing family trees. Having a hunger for learning new things is a bonus for the research behind her books.

Contact Details

Twitter - @MortonSGray

Facebook Page – Morton S. Gray Author -

Purchasing links for “The Girl on the Beach” at

Publisher Choc Lit -

No comments:

Post a Comment