Many authors find ideas by looking to the past. Fictionalising a historical event, person or a period in time allows a writer to draw on reality as a starting point, then use their imagination to create an original story.
After reading about the history of the Bustard Head Lighthouse on the central coast of Queensland, I decided to write a short story set at a fictionalised version of that lighthouse in 1887. But once I had an idea of the story I wanted to write – a historical mystery – I began to worry about accuracy and believability. How did people behave in 1887? How did they live? I didn’t know.
Thankfully, I’m a nerd for research. Which brings me to my first tip.
Take a bunch of writers from different genres, many who have never met before, and put them on the same table at a fancy dress dinner and see what happens.
For one group of writers, who met at GenreCon in 2019, it resulted in a multi-genre anthology entitled Lighthouse – a collection of fifteen short stories all featuring lighthouses.
Why lighthouses? To get the answer to this, and a bunch of other questions about this project, Lorikeet Ink caught up with two of the Lighthouse’s contributing authors – Anthology Organiser, Chris Foley and Anthology Editor, Bianca Millroy.