I can never quite decide which, of all the seasons, is my favourite. Now that Autumn is upon us with its vibrancy of colour, crisp, chilly mornings and pale blue skies, I feel compelled to write about it.
Everything about Autumn fills me with the anticipation that something new and spectacular is around the corner and that it is within my power to make it happen.
It reminds me of starchy new school uniforms and shiny new pencil cases laden with stationary, their glossy surfaces just waiting to be defaced with doodles, love hearts and boys’ initials.Those days when I would promise myself that this year, I would keep everything neat and orderly, keep up with my homework so that there were no last minute rushes, write neatly in my exercise books and focus on learning. It is about helping my mum pick the green beans and the sweetcorn from the bottom of our garden. Gathering the rhubarb that seemed to grow wild, without need for encouragement. Homemade apple pie, homemade rhubarb crumble. Boxes packed with carrots, leeks, parsnips, potatoes and turnip for the Harvest Festival. Warm spicy food and bonfires to burn the dead leaves and wood in the garden. Autumn to me, is all about abundance and fresh starts.
So I began writing my new book this Autumn. It begins just before Autumn and moves into the grip of Winter. I’m very excited about this fresh start. Finding inspiration for a new story is brilliant. Building the plot and the characters is addictive – I can’t switch off!
This Autumn is giving me stacks of inspiration as I go for woodland walks with my beautiful family, the pathways by the river blanketed with a riot of red and gold leaves, the sun hanging low and stark in the sky.
The richness of Autumn was a huge inspiration for my last book, ‘The Wishing House’, with the majority of the present day being set during the fresh and rainy days of September and October and the historical part of the book leading up to the start of the Civil War.
I love Autumn and this year, I’ll be making the most of cosy nights in with my laptop, new storyline and perhaps a glass of Malbec or Shiraz.