My eight year old nephew looked at my to-do list (a blackboard in the kitchen) on which I’d put a large tick next to ‘KILLING MAGPIES’. I quickly allayed his fears at what I’d been doing to explain that it was the title of a recently completed novel. Needless to say, he was very relieved (as am I at having finished it!) Set on a farmstead dominated by a Queen Anne house built onto the remains of a medieval priory (the fictitious Rattledown Priory) which is run as bed & breakfast/farmshop/alpaca farm/glamping site & wedding venue, it tells the story of a failed actress who falls in love with the place before being drawn into a plot involving an ancient curse, murder and mystery.
Where, he asked, did I get my inspiration? I luckily hadn’t gone into detail about the curse and murders, so was able to wave a hand casually over the surrounding Great Ground Farm – with its alpacas, reindeer and shepherds hut and tell him that I was writing about what I know and experience daily.
‘So,’ he asked sagely, looking at the next entry on my to-do list, ‘I suppose that means I won’t come next time to find you walking on eggshells?’