by Lily Malone
One of the first questions an author is often asked is ‘how do you come up for ideas for your stories?’
I am not one of those authors who has story ideas battling for space in my brain, but I do have a lovely tale to tell when it comes to my contemporary novella The Goodbye Ride, released tomorrow.
The story is set in Hahndorf—a gorgeous little German-settled tourist town in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia. I was living in Hahndorf when I got the idea for the book, but by the time I actually sat down to write it I’d moved to Margaret River in Western Australia. Not being there didn’t matter, because after living there for 12 years Hahndorf will forever hold a special place in my heart.
So, to the story. Hubby and our two boys (they must have been aged about four and two at the time) were driving back on a Saturday afternoon after spending time in Adelaide.
I was minding my own business, probably thinking about what I’d cook for dinner, when my husband hit the brakes in our vehicle and almost gave me (and the kids) whiplash.
He stopped our car opposite a house on the outskirts of Hahndorf town, and his attention was completely captured by a gleaming red motorbike for sale on the property’s front lawn.
I like to think I’m the only girl to catch my husband’s eye … but on this day, he fell in love all over again!
This red motorbike happened to be a Ducati Pantah 650, a carbon copy of the Ducati my husband owned in his misspent youth—a ‘collector’s item’, he assured me as he leapt out of the car (dodging oncoming traffic) and worth every cent of the emblazoned five-figure price tag I could see hanging off it.
This was the seed of the idea for The Goodbye Ride.
I thought to myself: what would happen if there was a girl walking down the Hahndorf main street on a mission to buy that bike … only to find herself pipped at the post by a boy (such as my equally on-a-mission husband)?
From there, I started fleshing out:
- Why would each of these characters want this particular bike?
- What would the one who wasn’t the successful buyer do to get the bike back?
- What were their backgrounds?
- Why were they both in Hahndorf on this particular day?
- How could I throw these two together?
- How could I tear them apart?
And I ended up with a novella exploring the hopes and fears of Olivia and Owen, their dreams, and their journey to a Happy Ever After (or at least a Happy For Now).
The Goodbye Ride was originally self-published in May 2013 and is now being re-released by Escape Publishing.
A fresh, funny and poignant romance set in the beautiful Adelaide Hills.