The foundations of my third best selling story involve a writing contest in the UK and an unsolved Victorian mystery.
Many years ago, my late father belonged to a book club and one of the books he bought was about the disappearance in the Amazon jungle of Victorian explorer Sir Percy Fawcett.
My book is fictional but develops along the lines of some of the theories which were prevalent at the time of the disappearance.
I saw an advert for a writing contest and the rules stated it had to be set at the turn of the century in a gentleman's club -- hence the cover -- I developed a story which not made you think about the possibility of him surviving but of what may have happened to him since his disappearance. At the end of the story, I had the idea for a follow story, as I often get, and so rose the time travel ending and the start of Did we see them? http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007T943OO
The story of the struggling writer Algie and his well to friend Bertie http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FWLHY0Q , came to me as a prequel to Did we see him? The idea was to try and boost sales for a flagging book by introducing a larger back story -- but it failed -- Algie and Bertie is partly my story as a writer. Many of the things Algie goes through are what I went through this year, from the injury to the shoulder to writing magazine articles to get his work noticed https://www.facebook.com/TheIndiePENdents and http://hereiamattheedge.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/for-those-who-did-not-return.html#.Urs4YNJdXDM
The follow up to Did we see him? Is a story called Did we see them? Unlike its predecessors this book has followed the course of many works and changed its direction -- partially because I found out some information on the mystery on which I was basing the story was wrong -- the story will still be a time travel mystery as planned but not the one I started out to do. I was going to try at one point and link the story to my best seller "Holding Richmond," but I changed my mind and went for another Victorian style mystery. As an after thought I had an idea in mind to write about a mystery writer who goes missing, but that is for another time and place. This story is currently under review because sales of all books have died off, many previous ideas have been shelved this year.