Hello! Now that Book 7, the third in the Love in the Lakes series has gone to my editor, my focus is switching to another series. This time it will be in Lancashire and I’m thinking longer term, perhaps up to five books. Lancashire is my home county and it’s a setting rich with history, culture, outstanding landscape and much to enjoy. I can’t wait to get going, even though I’m on a short writing break, and ideas are beginning to take shape. Thinking time for me is as important as writing time, and I do a lot of it whilst walking and listening to music.
I’ve chosen the beautiful Forest of Bowland, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, mostly in north-east Lancashire, and it’s a wonderful place to explore. The Tolkien Trail is just one walk I’d like to do after discovering it on a visit to Stonyhurst College last summer. So what might the series include? It will be set around a village, with the community you’d expect to find in my books at its heart. There will be a veterinary practice, managed by someone who’s arrived from Australia to look after it, and an animal rescue centre run by an eccentric woman called Dorothy. She is a character I’m imagining in each of the books and I’m building a picture of her life so she can take her place in the stories. There will be alpacas and possibly goats, as well as more animals! I grew up with horses and dogs, and in later life my mum kept geese and goats, so I have plenty of advice at hand!
Of course love stories will be the central theme and these take me time to devise. I have a clear picture of the first, and I’m looking forward to starting Pippa’s story. She has grown up in a city and the seemingly quiet village where she pitches up is not quite what she’s used to. There’s lots more to plan and add as I go along, and a Shetland pony will be making her presence known wherever she goes.
This image is the beautiful Leighton Hall in Lancashire, which is still a lovely family home. It was wonderful to visit last summer and meet Suzie Reynolds, who has written a book about how she’s managed to keep the roof on! An old house in my new series will play a part but it probably won’t be quite so grand as Leighton, which is very close to Cumbria and has gorgeous views to the fells in the distance. The ground floor room in this view is the music room, and guests are allowed to play the grand piano if they wish.
Lancashire is a beautiful county full of history and I’ll be introducing characters who have their own past in this place, as well as those who are newly discovering its beauties. I’m planning to explore this week and let more ideas take shape, and I’ll share some of those images with you.
Until next time,