Splashing into Spring
February at last! Here in my little corner of Cornwall it feels as though we’ve fought our way through a very wet and wild January and emerged windswept and battered but ready to turn our faces to the sunshine. Snowdrops are icing the banks at the sides of the lanes and even the first daffodils are punching their way through the earth. Out walking yesterday in the grounds of the National Trust’s stunning Lanhydrock House I even saw a camelia in full bloom. It feels as though the pendulum is poised to swing from one season to another and I cannot wait!
First of all a huge thank you to everyone who’s written to me to say that they enjoyed THE NATIVITY STAR. I loved writing the story and it meant a great deal that I could share a little slice of Polwenna with you all. There will be more Polwenna Bay books to come in the future and I’m also thrilled to let you know that the whole series is also going to be published in Germany! More about this in the future but it’s going to be a very exciting time. They have also sent the proof of Oyster Shore which are so pretty. I love to think that readers around the world will be able to visit Cornwall and get to know the characters and worlds that are so real to me.
It’s been a very wet and windy start to 2024 here in our little corner of Cornwall. The storms pummelling our little house have been quite Shakespearean. Fishermen friends have said this is one of the worst winters they can remember and their boats have been tied up for weeks - which means no catch and hard times all around. Yesterday the sun peeped through, the sky was blue and I spotted the first primroses in the garden which felt like a sign of better times. I love all the seasons and find beauty in all of them, but it’s wonderful to have lighter evenings and to know summer is tiptoeing back.
I had an operation in early January (nothing serious and I’m feeling much more like my old self-now ) but it was a time of enforced rest. I was able to carry on with my writing though and also did a fair bit of reading. I’m a voracious reader and gobble books, probably reading an average of four a week. I found myself turning to some old childhood favourites for the literary equivalent of comfort food. I read A Little Princess, Charlotte Sometimes, Flambards and several pony books.
These pony books still sit on my shelf and were donated to me by the mother of the girl over the road. As I was unwell a lot with asthma in those days I read them as an escape. It was lovely to tumble back through time and revisit them.
This made me wonder, what childhood books and stories did you enjoy? Are there any that you revisit? I’d love to know. It’s a real gift to be able to write a children’s book that stands the test of time. I guess that the Harry Potter books are the modern equivalent. My forays into Enid Blyton’s work didn’t make comfortable reading!
My own young adult novel, Chances, is based on my experiences as a teacher and supports the British Horse society’s CHANGING LIVES THROUGH HORSES. It was great fun to write and I have really enjoyed speaking about it at events and equestrian gatherings.
Being on ‘bed rest’ was also a time for me to reflect and evaluate. I was lucky enough to be able to see my horses wandering about outside (or staring in trying to mind meld that they need carrots) and it made me think back to when I was a child in the London suburbs dreaming about living in the countryside, writing books and having a pony. If you believe in the Law of Attraction and manifesting then I guess this is proof it works! Or else it’s goal setting. Or Fate. All ideas for books and as you can probably tell I am full of those right now.
Time to get back to the new book. More of that another time…