Where did the idea come from?

Have you ever wondered about where does the idea for a story comes from?

As a reader, I rarely think about it. When a good story intrigues me, it’s unusual for me to pause and consider its origin. As a writer, though, I’m always interested in knowing where the first spark of a story came from.

I’m not always aware of what inspires my stories, even if I often know the exact moment in which I decided to write them. However, for Secrets of a Handbag, it’s different. I remember exactly what inspired me, and when it happened.

Emilie Muller

The first seed for this story has been planted by a short movie I watched when I was a child. It was a sort of extra included in the videotape (yes, I’m old enough to remember VHS) of a movie my mother bought with a magazine.

I wasn’t sure I could find it on the Internet, but YouTube is an inexhaustible resource and didn’t disappoint me. The short movie is called “Emilie Muller”, and the original language is French, but you can watch it with English subtitles.


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So what do you think?

In case you don’t have the time to watch it, the short movie is about a young girl, who hesitates to call herself an actress but decides to participate in an audition. The director asks her a few questions, then asks her to take the handbag behind her and tell him about its content. She starts taking out objects and telling intriguing tidbits about them. The director obviously thinks that’s her handbag, and only in the end he realizes the purse belongs to a woman of his staff and not the girl. Her ability to create stories for each object impresses him so much, he runs after her.

I was very impressed too. Even as a child, every time we decided to watch that tape, 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?

Shopping fever

Another factor that affected the story was my passion for bags. I have more than I can count, and surely more than I need. But I can’t help it. I keep buying new ones whenever I found one at a bargain price.

Elisa, the main character in Secrets of a Handbag, doesn’t suffer from shopping fever like me. She is so fond of her leather handbag that she doesn’t feel the need to change it.

However, Elisa and I have something in common. Our handbags are both overstuffed and heavy. For both of us, the content of our bags is a sort of life vest. It makes us feel ready for every eventuality, and this gives us the illusion of having everything under control.

I often wonder about what my handbag 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?

These questions were the first spark that inspired me Secrets of a Handbag. The rest of the story came as a consequence.

Secrets of a Handbag

Finally, you’ll be able to read my story for yourself. Secrets of a Handbag will be available in print and e-book on the main on-line retailers starting from September the 20th.

I’m so excited about this! And also terrified.

I hope you’ll enjoy Secrets of a Handbag as much as I enjoyed writing it!


What if your handbag could talk?

What kind of secrets would she reveal?

What shameful truths would surface from its recesses?

What if a stranger found it; how would they look at it?

And if the handbag is very opinionated, things may become even more complicated.

When Elisa—student and bookseller—leaves her handbag on the bus, her life takes a dramatic turn. The handbag holds every aspect of her life, and without it, she can barely manage even the simplest of tasks.

Diego, a pragmatic, no-nonsense chemist who dislikes complications, finds Elisa’s handbag. He couldn’t be more different from Elisa and can’t wait to return the handbag to its owner so he can go back to his life.

When Elisa and Diego meet, however, things don’t go as planned.

And while Diego tries to keep his distance, everyone (the handbag included) seems determined to put Elisa on his path again and again. The only ones who don’t seem to agree are Lorena—Diego’s ex-girlfriend—and Marco—aspiring journalist and Elisa’s boyfriend…

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