Stevie Carroll (stevie_carroll) wrote,
Stevie Carroll
stevie_carroll

The Footballer's Mistress

The final story in A Series of Ordinary Adventures is one that always makes me sniffle (in a happy way) when I reread it. 'The Footballer's Mistress' is set in an old Derbyshire mill much like one in the village where I grew up.

That mill, like the one in the story, has been converted into flats and houses, but a few others in the county are have been put to other uses as shopping villages or museums. I found myself wondering what the former mill workers would thing of the buildings' conversions if they were somehow around to see the changes, and so my story was born.

Poppy worked in the mill back when much of the labour was still carried out by children. She was killed saving one of them from injury by the machinery, and now haunts the building, and sometimes the area around it. After the mill fell into disrepair, she slept, only to be woken again when builders came to start the conversion into homes.

I had fun writing about Poppy's reactions to the 21st century, and her feelings as she tries to look after the workers and then the building's new occupants. Eventually, she becomes particularly attached to Grace, the footballer's mistress of the title, and struggles to find ways to make Grace's life easier. Grace isn't a bad person: she's just unfortunate enough to be in love with the wrong man and unable to see a way to live without him.

Poppy's schemes aren't very successful to start with: she doesn't even know whether Grace is aware she's being haunted, but I promise they get their happy ending eventually. It's not easy to write a romance where one character is alive and the other is a ghost, but I like to think I managed it.

And here's a mill and its associated cottages:


Over to you. What ghost stories do you have to tell me? Any interesting building conversions near you that people need to know about?



Link to complete story list
Link to the Kickstarter page for the book's launch
Tags: a series of ordinary adventures, inspiration, my stories, on writing
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