About four years ago, I travelled up to Scotland with my mum, dad and baby brother (okay, he’s only two years younger than me, but he’ll always be my baby brother). We were visiting family, and meeting my cousin’s first baby, who spent the entire time looking rather startled at my bright red top.
Because it was a long drive, we stopped overnight at a guest house that used to be an old hunting lodge. It was a lovely place – very plush, very comfy, very snug. And so, of course, I decided to write a horror story about it.
Smoke and Mirrors is a story that has been kicking around in my head since that night in the hunting lodge four years ago. Writing ideas can come from anywhere, and stories usually end up as an exaggerated, six-degree-of-separation version of whatever inspired them. Smoke and Mirrors, though, is more of a three-degrees-of-separation, if that. I do get creeped out by mirrors in the dark, although I’ve never seen anything in them that wasn’t me. I did persuade my brother to swap rooms with me, and then found a collection of burned-out doll’s houses on top of the wardrobe in my new room. And there was rather a lot of right-wing literature in the games room downstairs.
The rest of the story isn’t true, though. At least, I hope it isn’t.