IDEAS can come from no where and at times seem to appear from out of thin air like magic.

For one well established author from Taunton, the plot for her latest book ‘Poppy’s Seed’ came to her in a dream.

When she woke in the morning, Bethany Askew, had the characters names, where they lived and the embryonic plot all ready to go.

It took her a year of thinking about the story and then a year of writing it to come up with the finished article, which she feels is the best book she has written.

Bethany has completed five books including The Time Before, The World Within, Out of Step, Counting the Day and now her latest Poppy’s Seed published by Matador.

The novel explores the relationship between married couple Emily and Peter Stanchester as they struggle to adapt to retired life and the impact artist Poppy has on their lives.

Bethany said: “Being a writer is something I have always wanted to do. I started writing about 15 years ago but I was only writing on a part-time basis. I used to work as a dispensing optician for 30 years and people would know me from my time working at Boots the opticians in Taunton.

“I used to adjust people’s glasses to make sure they fitted after they had chosen the frames.

“With this new book Poppy’s Seed it took me two years to write.

I came up with the idea from a dream and allowed the idea to grow for a year before I started writing. I knew who the characters were, where they would live and what the story was about.

“Once I get an idea I have to live with it and allow it to evolve.

“What I have thought about does seem very real. When I am writing it, the characters do lead the book forward as I know them so well.

“I do see it like a film in my head and I know what each character looks like, how they behave.

Bethany has noticed a change in her style of writing and feels it has become more immediate and her stories have more pace.

Indeed one of the blurbs about her latest book (Poppy’s Seed) described it as a page turner.

For many of her readers this seems to be true as they cannot put her books down until they have finished very word.

- Poppy’s Seed is published by Matador in paperback.