Wednesday, 5 November 2014


The only historical event I can remember with any accuracy is good old 1066 and The Battle of Hastings. At school I was hopeless at dates, in fact anything to do with numbers, but I used to love history because sooner or later it usually involved writing a lot of essays. Now though, I suspect there may be more to it. The longer I live and the more places I visit in the world, the more connected I feel to my roots, or more specifically my spiritual home, Snowdonia.

Seventeen years ago we moved from Cheshire to North Wales. Although Cheshire has its history and pretty rural surroundings aplenty, Wales is far more extreme in both aspects. The castles and the rugged hillsides scattered with stone settlements, druid’s circles and ...

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  1. I think it depends. I have lived in many different countries and some I find inspirational and others I do not. And that is not dependent on liking them. I disliked most things about India but was inspired to write. I dislike a lot about Malawi but do not feel inspired to write, although I did in Angola. Then again, I may just be Africa'd out! Living in Belgium inspired me, spending months in Portugal did the same. Living in Canada did not and neither did spending months in the US. Spending months at a time in Russia really inspired me and living in London certainly did. South Africa and Zambia a bit, but not a lot.

  2. yes, as a writer I imagine the sound of breaking glass, sirens and screams when I write. And sometimes living in London I don't have to imagine at all!

    my mother is from Manchester and moved to London to marry my father. Every summer we went up to visit my grandparents and I explored this whole unknown part of my heritage and it often informs my fiction, a sort of shadow landscape.

  3. I don't use my own area in my stories much. However, my womens fiction trilogy is set in my hometown. I like fantasy settings in a rich cultural environment, but not so much for contemporary.

    You sure live in a beautiful and inspirational area.

  4. I enjoyed your description of walking on ancient roads and your self-reference as a "walking writer."
    I live in Puerto Rico and find that the environment influences my poetry. I write personal stories and memoir so my reflections come from memory, which may or may not be in Puerto Rico.

  5. Thank you for reading and for such interesting comments! I do feel lucky to live here and be inspired by the landscape but yes, the contemporary aspect is where I've drawn on my own experiences, so a blend of the two.

  6. You've definitely used your environment to create a rich world. Writing a series where the characters recall many past lives, I go to many worlds in my imagination. But for a home base where the characters live in the present day, I never would have made my choice if I didn't live there: suburban New Jersey. Perfect for neutral ground, contrast to mythic realms, and comic relief.