The Route Book at Bedtime (Route 22) is designed for adult bedtime reading, a book of 12 stories that aims to capture those moments of deep emotional significance which return to us in our dreams. But what is the story behind the stories? Here 11 of the authors talk about the inspiration behind the work.
M Y Alam – Smokes and Dust
I’d completed a draft while my father was in hospital for nearly three months. He recovered for a couple of months before relapsing. It’s not that I felt obliged to write anything about or even for him, but the love of the word was something he cultivated in me from an early age, sometimes without even knowing it. Unlike me, the writing was a much deeper part of who he was. Writing kept him alive, I used to think, but like everything else, even that left him. Barely able to hold a pen, he wrote his final poem, one of the most beautiful pieces of verse Iâ€™ve ever heard, a few days before he died. The writing of this one was relatively easy, for a change.
Sarah Butler - Leaving
Somewhat ironically, I wrote ‘Leaving’ just after buying a house with my (now ex-) boyfriend. I was struck by the amount of stuff we owned, and the physical effort that was required to move it. I am very interested in relationships, what makes some of them work and some of them not work, or some of them work for a while and then turn stale. I’m also interested in objects, and how â€“ particularly when relationships are breaking down â€“ we invest them with emotion. My own relationship ended messily, and I had to leave the house we had bought together, which was both traumatic and freeing. It’s funny looking back at the story now, because it is strangely prophetic. It’s filled with objects I ‘borrowed’ from my own life, which makes it even harder not to see the parallels!