What a funny title!
I had an idea for a mystery set at the seaside. I knew that there would be a guest house by the sea called ‘Salt’ as it was run by… Mrs Salt and I also had the idea of an old man that lived in the attic rooms of Salt guest house who I named Mr Tinegar – like vinegar! At the time, my title was going to be ‘Salt and Tinegar’, but, luckily, I had the presence of mind to change it to just ‘Salt’. I thought that captured the sea perfectly and was much less of a mouthful.
As I wrote the story I pictured the setting clearly, a British seaside town, fictional, of course, called Pirates’ Cove. In my head, I could stand along the sea front with a row of tall, traditional guest houses lined side by side behind me. In the distance, to the left, I could see the grassy cliff tops and on the pavement near me a jolly ice-cream seller called Gilly who was to play a small role in the story. Turning right with the sea beside me on my left, I could walk into the little town with its bustling market square and to the right of that I could see the roads leading steeply uphill, passing the mysterious antiques shop, Cobwebs.
The story revolves around two children: Toby is on holiday with his Great Aunt Win and her pet rat, Rufus, and Hattie is a strange local girl who has a market stall selling boxes decorated with shells. We mustn’t forget Hattie’s dog, Scamp, either. When there is a break in at the guest house and a mysterious plate disappears which carries a curse, the children become involved. They stumble across a long-forgotten door at the back of Mrs Salt’s cellar which leads them through a series of sandy tunnels and to an unbelievable discovery.
As in any good mystery, there are secrets to be revealed, and of course, in attempting to do that, there will be danger for Toby and Hattie.