To Autumn in South Lakes

This place will always be full
of beginnings and endings for me,
and traces of old and untold stories.

A visit to Cumbria is a treat and especially in-between seasons. Trees and hedgerows begin to show their autumn tints in the late summer sun while swallows swoop and soar, testing their wings in readiness to fly south.

Despite the afternoon heat, the light gives way to cooler evenings, and there’s anticipation in the air of something unfathomable.

Returning to the Lake District and, in particular, South Lakes brings a sense of home-coming. As soon as the Lakeland fells come into view, my spirits lift and I feel a resurgence of energy, story, magic, life.

This is Light Weaver country. This is where I met the characters in my first novel. This is where something extraordinary seized my imagination while liberating my soul.

A richly-coloured, undulating quilt of fells, pastures, crags, lakes, shores, rivers, forests and hideaways is woven with the fabric of human, animal and other seen and unseen life.

The ever-changing light makes more or less of what is here and simply intensifies the transience of each moment.

This place will always be full of beginnings and endings for me, and traces of old and untold stories. I’m entwined with this landscape for reasons that partly remain a mystery, and this is why I keep returning with a happy heart filled with sparks of possibility.

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Light Weaver and Future Stories

When Light Weaver, my debut novel, was published in 2012, I had no idea what effect this book would have on all the lovely people who chose to read Tom and Cali’s extraordinary story.

My partner, Fen, was the first to read Light Weaver and was so enthralled that he asked me if he could publish the book. At the time, I had just started to make initial enquiries with literary agents and publishers, and with favourable responses, but independent publishing appealed to my ‘let’s do it now’ outlook. By taking this route, and accepting Fen’s generous offer to take care of all the commissioning of editors and designers, typesetting, lay-out, printing and all the publishing admin, it meant that the book would find its way into the world much quicker than taking the more conventional publishing route. I was fixated about getting the book out in 2012, and so Fen took the project on board and made it happen.

If you have discovered a print copy of Light Weaver you will see the love and care that Fen put into transforming my manuscript into the final book. He did a magnificent job, and I’m very grateful.

Slowly slowly, Light Weaver began to find its readers. This hasn’t been an easy route partly because the novel doesn’t fit snug into a particular book genre. Some have described it as visionary or metaphysical fiction, some refer to it as fantasy / sci-fi set in a familiar place (the Lake District), and some refer to it as a nature-inspired love story with an extra dimensional twist. These are all valid descriptions, but it doesn’t make it easy to place the title on a book store’s shelf. To me, it’s all about the story and I love nothing better than finding something extraordinary in the ordinary (and vice versa) to share with my readers.

Back in 2012, I had hoped to start making progress on the next novel. I have so many stories (and curious characters) inhabiting my imagination, and they need to find their way on to the page. Was it John Lennon who said, life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans? I did start writing and researching, but I’ve been caught up with life’s funny twists and turns and pre-occupations. This leads me to another pertinent quote courtesy of Virginia Woolf: A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. (Of course, this applies to men, too.) In this instance, money equates to freedom, and freedom is what I value greatly, but the stories won’t leave me alone. They rattle their cage bars and keep me awake at night. They swim in the pool of my thoughts whenever I’m adrift from the moment.

Although Fen invested in bringing Light Weaver into the book world, publishing and marketing books is not his life’s venture. He is busy with his own creative projects. If I am to bring new stories into the world, I will need to find a publisher I can co-create with… a publisher who is listening to my slowly growing readership and understands what they want.

Right now, I am joyfully busy writing inspiring features and content for magazines and clients, but I am open to the possibility of bringing new stories into the world. There is one story – set in Scotland – that is weaving its threads through me, and which I would like to complete and publish before the fires go out. Not a week goes by without readers asking me if I have another novel available or even a Light Weaver sequel. This is telling me something, but are there any publishers or literary agents taking note and willing to take a chance on me? If so, let’s talk.

Way always leads to way. While there is light within me, there is a spark of a story waiting for the dawn. I hope I’ll be able to share more curious tales before my tour of earth is done.

Have you read Light Weaver? Are you waiting to read my next novel?

Please leave a comment about what you thought of my debut novel, and whether you would like to read more of my stories. Although I already have some great reviews of Light Weaver on Amazon, your comments here might just help me connect with a fabulous publisher. Where there’s a spark, there’s a possibility. Thank you. ☆~♡~☆

 

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On Board the Mobile Library

On Monday 30th July 2012, I returned to Cumbria with my novel, Light Weaver, for an extra special book signing on board the mobile library. It was a wonderful experience for me to take the book back to where it all began some four years previous. It was also, perhaps, a novelty for the mobile library readers as the event was a first of its kind (as far as we know) in South Lakes.

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After a quick interview with the fabulous Ian Timms of BBC Radio Cumbria, I travelled north with that familiar feeling of going home. I journeyed under a dramatic sky, with ever changing light, rainbow flashes, and ominous cloud that has been typical of this strange summer.

Upon arrival, I met the lovely library staff. I was treated to a tour of Kendal’s stunning Carnegie library on Stricklandgate before setting off to the historic South Lakes villages of Burton and Holme to meet readers on board the mobile library.

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There were moments where I felt as if I’d stepped into scenes from Light Weaver. I was half expecting the singing psychic to make an appearance, dancing up and down the street as I signed copies of the book. And, perhaps he did!

Time passed quickly as it always does when you’re having fun, and I left the mobile library to continue its adventures into the heart of Light Weaver country.

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After a walk by the river and a delicious late veggie lunch at Kendal’s Waterside cafe, I made my way to Silverdale, where I often find Light Weaver’s Tom and Cali watching the tidal bore. Sometimes, I see the mobile library there, too, although I’m not sure whether it’s in this dimension or another.

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Thank you to Cumbria Library Services for making the event possible and to Dave and Sam (either of them could have been mistaken for Tom!) for looking after me on the mobile library. Also, thanks to the lovely Cumbrian folk who gave me such a warm welcome.

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