Where does the idea for a story come from?
To tell you the truth, as a reader, I never really think about it. When a good story grabs my attention, it’s unusual for me to linger about its genesis. As a writer though I’m always well aware of what inspire my stories and I often know the exact moment in which I decided to write them.
Secrets of a Handbag is no exception.
The first seed for this story has been planted when I was a child by a short movie. It was a sort of extra included in the video tape (yes, I’m old enough to remember VHS) of a movie my mother bought with a magazine.
I thought I wouldn’t find it, but YouTube has proved itself an inexhaustible resource. So, instead of telling you about it, I’m going to show it! (subtitles available in English by clicking on the option – the three dots – at the bottom)
What do you think about this?
I was very impressed. Every time we decided to watch that movie, I wanted to watch this unique and intense short movie too.
Inevitably, when I thought about it years later, after writing entered my life, I started asking myself: what kind of story a handbag could tell?
Useless to say, my passion for handbags has been decisive for this story. Elisa, the main female character, is so fond of her leather handbag that she doesn’t feel the need to change it. Instead I own more bags than my wardrobe (and the one at my mother’s house) can contain. I have bags of every colour and shape, of every style and for every occasion. The only thing they have in common is their size, always remarkable.
Like theone Elisa’s has, my bag is always overstuffed and really heavy. Bringing it with me makes me feel ready for every eventuality (included needing a blunt object) and this gives me the illusion of having everything under control.
I often wonder about what my bag tells about me. If someone should find it by chance and search inside, what would he or she think about me? Would his idea be right or would he misunderstand everything? Would he find me interesting or drab and ordinary?
That’s where everything came from.
What would a boy think finding an abandoned bag on a bus? But above all… what would the bag think?