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Writing inspiration: Muddy Water by Neil Watson

PUBLISHED: 16:54 19 January 2016 | UPDATED: 16:54 19 January 2016

Neil Watson in his element

Neil Watson in his element

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EL hears about Neil Watson's first novel and how he was inspired to write this story

Muddying the Water

Neil Watson’s first novel, Muddy Water, has an unusual story behind it. Neil’s refurbishing of an old dilapidated boat provided the inspiration for a story set in Wivenhoe (local residents will be able to spot real locations such as the Black Buoy, Station and Rose & Crown pub), and with his friend and local writer David Roberts, Neil set about writing a thriller about family, revenge and unexpected love. The muddy waters of the River Colne at Wivenhoe inspired both the title and the idea of family circumstances that twist and turn, and Neil’s daughter, Laura, illustrated the book, creating a picture for each chapter for the characters who tell their story – each chapter is written in the first person, giving a glimpse into the different motivations.

After a friend offered £100 to be included in the book, Neil decided to set himself a challenge to raise £500 for charity by offering other people the chance to appear as characters in the story. Local friends and business owners took him up on it, including the owners of a cat who donated £70 to have Baci in the story. Neil eventually had to stop at an amazing £1,500, after he ran out of characters to offer! The money was donated to West Mersea RNLI, Colchester MIND, Colchester Samaritans and the Royal British Legion, and the idea was so successful that Neil is planning to repeat it with his next book, Florida Key, that he is planning to write in 2016. Neil and his wife, Jane, are looking forward to spending some time in Montolieu in France, known as The Village of Books, where he’ll be sitting on the terrace and working out how the Marklands from Muddy Water move on in Florida Key.

Muddy Water by Neil Watson

Publisher: Hornet Books

Release Date: November 1

Price: £9.99

ISBN: 0993435300

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