Inheritance Books: Marcia Spillers

DSC_0008Today’s Inheritance Books comes from Marcia Spillers. Hi Marcia, welcome to the Inheritance Books sofa. Take a seat. Would you like some tea?  The iced sort or the hot sort? While I’m getting that, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Marcia Spillers, and I was born a southern belle in the bayou country of West Monroe, Louisiana.  My father was the biggest influence in my life.  Born in Mississippi, he was an early feminist, and believed women should be taught the same things as men, and given the same opportunities.  He practiced what he believed, making sure my sister and I were educated so we could take care of ourselves, in addition to knowing how to fish, drive a boat, shoot a gun, and more importantly, stand up to any situation.  My mother was from Poland, and she supported my father’s beliefs. Of course, she had a few of her own, making sure we knew how to cook, set a table for guests, use the correct fork at a dinner party, and always make sure you had on lipstick in case someone took a picture.  I have a feeling my brothers got off easy during childhood.

 

Which book have you inherited from the generation above? Why is it special?

IMG_0915Both of my parents were avid readers, and passed that quality along to their four children.  I think the book I inherited from their generation is one my mother kept by her bedside a year or so before she passed.  “Moments of Peace in the Presence of God,” published by Bethany House Publishers, is a book of writings about reflections on God’s gift of love, hope and happiness. My mother would read it daily and reflect on the life she’d lived.  I think as we grow older, believing in the existence of a higher power is comforting.  I knew it was for her, and it is now for me.  I have the copy she kept by her bedside, and it brings me comfort whenever I read through it.

 

Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why? 

IMG_0916The book that turned me into a lifelong reader is “Nancy and Plum,” by Betty MacDonald.  I found the book in my school library when I was in fifth grade, and from that moment on was hooked.    The story is a traditional tale of two little sisters, orphaned at an early age, who end up living at a farm/boarding house run by a cruel woman out in the country.  No matter what problems they faced, they remained steadfast in their love for one another, and their search for a better life.  The book taught me at an early age to stay positive and optimistic that good things were just around the corner.  The book also had an interesting contrast between the darkness inside the house where the woman was cruel to the children, and the lightness and love outside of the house in the countryside where the animals lived.   

Thank you for sharing your Inheritance Books with us, Marcia. All the best with your latest book!

Murder_At_The_Myster_Cover_for_KindleMarcia’s book Murder at Mystery Bay Hotel is available to buy now. You can find out more about Marcia on her website, or catch up with her on Twitter (@mysterywriter2or Facebook.

Inheritance Books: Dan Waddell

This week’s Inheritance Books are from Dan Waddell, prolific novelist and fellow Yorkshire person. Hi Dan, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself while I put the kettle on.

DAN WADELLI’m a 44 year-old, recovering tabloid journalist turned author. The first half of my life was spent in Yorkshire, but for the past 20 years I’ve lived in exile in London, a city I always wanted to live in and which has not disappointed me.  I finished my first book in 1999 and since then I’ve written more than 20 works of fiction and non-fiction.  Recently I re-acquired my rights to two crime novels which were published a decade ago, the first of which has just been released on Kindle. The  second follows in late May,  while the third, only ever released in France, will be published later this year with more to follow.

I also love playing and watching cricket (but rarely writing about – never kill the thing you love…) I was a talented teenage cricketer. At one stage I thought it might become a career, but it wasn’t to be. Writing has offered some compensation for those shattered dreams. But only some…

However, if I’m honest, most of my time is spent making fishfingers and chips for three children. [I can sympathise. I do much the same. R]

 

Which book have you inherited from the generation above? Why is it special?

Cover of The Grapes of WrathMy dad’s copy of Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I read it on a holiday aged 17, when I’d lost the reading habit. I loved it and have never stopped reading since. I sometimes wonder what would’ve happened if I’d taken a bad book on that holiday…

My father Sid Waddell was a TV darts commentator who is fondly recalled in the UK.  We were very close (I wrote a book about him and our relationship in a book which was published last year, called We Had Some Laughs.) He read voraciously and widely, and scribbled notes and thoughts over many of his books. I have a few of the books he owned and it’s nice to have them as mementos of him. Interestingly, he didn’t scribble anything in this copy of Grapes of Wrath. He probably thought it was too perfect to touch. Either that or he never read it!

 

Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why? 

Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner. I read and re-read it countless times as a kid though sadly I lost that copy. It was the first time I ever experienced the magical feeling of being so wrapped up in a book that the outside world ceased to matter or even exist. It’s a wonderful alchemy. Maybe it can have that effect on others.

Thank you for sharing you Inheritance Books with us, Dan. All the best for The Blood Detective.

BDcover 2

Dan’s latest book The Blood Detective is available to buy now. You can find out more about Dan on his website, Twitter (@danwaddell), Facebook

 

Inheritance Books: Lynne Shelby

This week on Inheritance Books, I’ve got fellow romance novelist, Lynne Shelby. Welcome Lynne, why don’t you make yourself comfortable while I get a brew on. Help yourself to Easter eggs. While I’m doing that, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself.

Lynne Shelby with her debut novel French KissingI’ve always lived in or near North London, apart from three years as a student at Leicester University, studying history. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer, but over the years I’ve done a variety of day jobs, including stable girl, child actors’ chaperone and most recently legal administrator. I now write full-time, and I have to say that being an author is the best job ever. I enjoy travelling, especially exploring a foreign city for the first time. In my teens, I was a keen amateur actress – I met my husband at a drama group – and these days I love visiting the theatre and do so whenever I can. I write contemporary women’s fiction, but I read books in any genre from SF to detective novels. My debut novel, ‘French Kissing,’ won the Accent Press and Woman magazine Writing Competition, and I’m currently working on a series of books set in the world of show business.

Which book have you inherited from a generation above? Why is it special? 

AngeliqueIt was hard to choose just one book that I inherited from the generation above, so I hope I’m allowed a series. Neither of my parents were voracious readers, but my mother did enjoy historical novels, and passed onto me her enthusiasm for the ‘Angelique’ books by Sergeanne Golon. This feisty heroine’s adventures in 17th Century France, were not only a great read, but also gave me a passion for reading historical novels, and for history itself. In my final exams at uni, I answered a question on Louis XIV based on historical facts I learnt from ‘Angelique and the King.’

Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why?

Great GatsbyThe book I’d like to pass on to future generations is ‘The Great Gatsby.’ The first time I read F Scott Fitzgerald’s exquisitely written novel, I was instantly captivated by the story of the fabulously wealthy yet mysterious Jay Gatsby and his obsessive love for a girl he knew in his youth. Since then, I’ve read the book many times, and on each reading I’ve seen something new in it, a nuance of character, a wonderful sentence that I wish I’d written myself. It’s a short book, but with so much in it for the reader to discover – a classic that is accessible to all. Written in 1926, it still has so much to say to contemporary readers, and I’d like to think that future generations will continue to read it and marvel at the way so many themes – cynicism and romance, illusion and reality – are effortlessly woven into the deceptively simple yet wonderfully crafted and intricate plot.

Thank you for sharing your Inheritance Books with us, Lynne. All the best with French Kissing (the book, I mean).

4Lynne’s book French Kissing is available to buy now. You can find out more about Lynne on her website, on Facebook or by tweeting her @LynneB1

 

 

Inheritance Books: Lesley Cookman

This week, I’m beyond excited to have Lesley Cookman visiting Inheritance Books. I’ve put extra cushions on the sofa in celebration. Hi Lesley, welcome to Inheritance Books. Please make yourself comfortable. Tell us a bit about yourself while I go make some tea.

Me at Alimos(1)I’m an ex-actor, feature writer, model, night club DJ, editor and a current mother of four and grandmother of two. I live with two cats and an occasional boomerang child on the Kent Coast.

Which book have you inherited from the generation above? Why is it special?

I inherited my parents’ entire book collection of Golden Age mysteries, which I was let loose on at the age of nine. They informed my later reading choices and eventually, my writing choices.ME1

Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why? 

Gosh, there are so many! Can I say Complete Works of Shakespeare? Or is that too obvious? If not, Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men In A Boat, which can still make me laugh out loud, and is about the only book which can.

I’m reading Three Men In A Boat at the moment. It makes me laugh too (especially Montmorency).

Thank you for sharing your Inheritance Books with us, Lesley. All the best with your book.

9781786154415_FCLesley’s latest book is available to buy now. You can find out more about Lesley on her website and find her on Twitter (@LesleyCookman) and Facebook.

Inheritance Books: Sam Russell

Children Reading by Valerie Everett

Today on the Inheritance Books sofa, we have Sam Russell. Hi Sam, make yourself at home. Why don’t you start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

IMG_8576I was born in London but grew up in a rural Essex village, with the freedom to run free. Idyllic childhood is a cliché, but it was absolutely that – an Enid Blyton adventure with a gaggle of village children beside me, and I have no doubt that it was our outdoor life which fostered my love of the countryside.

As an adult I trained and worked as a riding instructor. I lived overseas for a while, then came home and married a farmer. Thirty-two years later and we’re still farming together. Our three children have grown up and moved out of the farmhouse now but we’ve still got the dogs, a geriatric cat and an aged pony in the paddock. (I watch him through the window when I’m writing.)

 

Which book have you inherited from a generation above? Why is it special?

DSC_0810My special, inherited book is The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge. I adored this book as a child. My mum bought it for me. She was, and still is, a genius at finding exactly the right book for the moment. The story of Maria enchanted me and Elizabeth Goudge gifted a magical world where all my passions combined: A plucky heroine, adventure, wonderful characters and a pony thrown in for good measure! There might be a theme developing here…

The copy shown in the picture is actually an exact replacement of the book I originally owned. The original having been eaten by a Welsh goat many years ago! My favourite books travelled with me when I was a kid, and on a family holiday I stacked them on a shelf next to the window. That pesky goat stuck his head through the window and ate the lot! I was inconsolable! We didn’t have a lot of money going spare back then, but Mum sourced and replaced every single book in that goat-chewed collection and I treasure them all to this day.

Which book would you leave for future generations? Why?

DSC_0811It’s so much harder to decide which book I would leave for future generations. Fiction is so personal, and there are too many brilliant titles to choose from. I considered bequeathing the volumes of Maya Angelou’s autobiography, for the sheer inspiration of her joy and talent in the face of adversity, but then I noticed the books I’d kept since my children were babies, and nostalgia won the day.

Once There Were Giants by Martin Waddell and Penny Dale is an exquisite children’s book. Holding it in my hands again takes me straight back to curling up with a little person and reading bedtime stories. And that little person is completely absorbed. It was ‘the book of the moment’, because it told the story of their lives, with warm illustrations and sympathetic words:

I would like to think that Once There Were Giants will pass to my grandchildren when the time comes, and that it will give them the same pleasure it gave to my children.

Maybe I’ll be lucky, and I’ll be the grandma with DSC_0809a little person curled on my lap absorbed in the story, because what I would most like to leave to future generations is the absolute joy of reading. (Amen to that! R)


The copy in the photography is worn and water-curled. I believe it survived the bath!

Thank you for sharing your favourite books with us, Sam. Best of luck with The Bed of Brambles.

A Bed of Brambles Cover MEDIUM WEBSam’s latest book The Bed of Brambles is available to buy now. You can find out more about Sam on her website or meet up with her on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Inheritance Books: Carolyn Hughes

Children Reading by Valerie Everett

This week’s guest on the Inheritance Books sofa is history buff Carolyn Hughes. Welcome to Inheritance Books Carolyn, make yourself comfortable. While I put the kettle on, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself.

carolyn-publicityI’ve come to writing, or rather publishing, quite late in life. I’ve written creatively on and off all my adult life but, for many years, work and family were somehow always the main focus of my life, and it wasn’t until our children flew the nest that I realised writing could now take centre stage.

Even then, although I wrote some short stories, and one and a half contemporary women’s novels, my writing was rather ad hoc, and my tentative attempts to approach agents met only with rejection. Thinking that a Masters degree in Creative Writing might give me more focus, I enrolled at Portsmouth University. It worked! I wrote the historical novel that is now published as Fortune’s Wheel.

Why an historical novel? Well, when I had to choose what to write as the creative piece for the MA, I mostly just wanted a change from the contemporary women’s fiction I had been writing. But the choice I made was somewhat serendipitous… In my twenties, I’d written about 10,000 words of a novel set in fourteenth century England. By chance, I rediscovered the fading, handwritten, draft languishing in a box of old scribblings. Although, to be frank, the novel’s plot (and the writing!) was pretty dire, I was drawn to its period and setting. The discovery gave me one of those light bulb moments and, a few days later, I was drafting an outline for the novel that is now Fortune’s Wheel.

It was true that I’d long been intrigued by the mediaeval period, for its relative remoteness in time and understanding, and, I think, for the very dichotomy between the present-day perception of the Middle Ages as “nasty, brutish and short” and the wonders of the period’s art, architecture and literature. I wanted to know more about the period, and, through writing an historical novel, I’d have the opportunity both to discover the mediaeval past and to interpret it, to bring both learning and imagination to my writing.

Having written Fortune’s Wheel, I’d enjoyed being back at university so much that I decided to read for a PhD at the University of Southampton, and the result was another historical novel, as yet unpublished, The Nature of Things. By then, the historical fiction bug had well and truly bitten me. I soon realised that I had more stories to tell about the world I’d created for Fortune’s Wheel – a fictional manor, called Meonbridge, situated in Hampshire’s Meon Valley – and I started to plan a series of sequels. So, when Fortune’s Wheel was published last November, it was as the first of “The Meonbridge Chronicles”. I hope that the second will be published later in 2017.

 

Which book have you inherited from the generation above?

What an interesting question. I assume the thought behind it is to tease out possible img_1357_1influences on my writing life? (That is, indeed, the intention! – RB) However, in trying to find an answer, I realised that I couldn’t recall either of my parents (or their siblings) ever reading, or encouraging me to read, fiction! We certainly had books in the house, but, apart from the usual run of children’s books (Enid Blyton, Grimms’ Fairy Tales, Hans Andersen…), they were mostly reference (although, as a child, I would pore over them avidly for hours). But there was no Plaidy or Seton to inspire a love of historical fiction!

So what special book might I say my forebears passed down to me? I’ll choose one that perhaps inspired my love of history: This Land of Kings 1066-1399. A children’s book, published in the 50s, with bright illustrations, it was a school prize – I was nine – attained for “Progress”! As it covers the Middle Ages, perhaps, long ago as it was, it sowed the seed that grew into Fortune’s Wheel?

 

Which book might you like to leave to the next generation?

img_1358I will take “next generation” to be my children, one boy, one girl – both very much adults now. I think I will leave them a “history book” too, one that has more recently inspired my plunge into writing historical fiction. I have a facsimile of The Luttrell Psalter, a wonderful fourteenth century religious tome that is full of illustrations of medieval life. I love it, and I’d like to think my children would love it too, knowing how much it has meant to me these past few years…

 

 

 

Thank you for sharing your favourite books with us, Carolyn. All the best with Fortune’s Wheel.

9781781325827-300dpi-cmykCarolyn’s book Fortune’s Wheel is available to buy now. You can find out more about Carolyn on her website, Facebook (CarolynHughesAuthor) or Twitter (@writingcalliope)

 

 

 

Would you like to share your own Inheritance Books? Email me or mention it in the comments.

 

 

Inheritance Books: Annmarie McQueen

This week’s Inheritance Books come from blogger and YA author Annmarie McQueen. Take a seat, Annmarie. While I put the kettle on, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself. 

H20161013_201557i, I’m Annmarie. I’m a 22 year old writer, blogger and photographer living in London. I enjoy instagramming food, taking selfies with dogs I meet and being that annoying friend who always has a camera to hand. I currently work in event marketing. I’m a graduate of Warwick University with a BA in English/Creative writing and an MA in cultural policy. I also really love tea. I currently have 18 different types of tea in my room and I’m immensely proud of this fact.

Yay, tea! Which book have you inherited from a generation above? Why is it special?

The book that I’ve inherited that I would like to shine a spotlight on today is ‘Northern Lights’ by Phillip Pullman. Published in 1995, it’s a YA fantasy classic that deals with a whole range of fascinating themes including freedom, destiny, religion and childhood innocence. This book was first given to me by my dad, and since then I’ve read it many times over.15940513_10154945598084451_7491591450245079483_n

I love the gothic feel to the book, the fact that it’s unafraid to deal with dark themes and the stunning descriptions of the fantasy world it’s set in. I also found the ‘Adam & Eve’ allegory and the biblical references really interesting. Though I’m not religious myself, I liked how cleverly religious ideas were subtly entwined in a story set in an alternate universe. It just gave it a whole other dimension that really made it stand out from any other children’s book at the time.

Also, I loved the daemons. I used to wish desperately that daemons were real when I was younger, thinking I’d never be lonely again if I had one. I used to imagine mine would be some kind of wolf.

Which book which you leave for generations below you? Why?

The second book I’ve chosen is one I would like to pass on to future generations. I’ve picked ‘Boys don’t cry’ by Mallory Blackman for this one. Though I’ve only recently finished reading it, I was completely blown away by this book and thought that the message it carried was so relevant to society right now.

p1260733The story follows Dante, who’s about to go off to College, until his old ex-girlfriend shows up with no warning, tells him he’s a daddy and then leaves the baby with him. Dante, with the support of his dad and younger brother Adam, must figure out how to adjust to this sudden turn of events and deal with this huge change in his life.

I find it so rare to find a book that deals so well with relationships between men. At times hilarious, at times heartbreaking, Blackman does a fantastic job of completely breaking down gender stereotypes and examining what it means to ‘be a man’ in this society. It’s such a controversial and difficult subject to get right, especially without sounding preachy, but Dante is an incredibly relatable and likeable character. Not only that, the story is thought-provoking and deals with other stigmatised issues such as sexuality and mental health without trying to sugar-coat or romanticise them.

In a society where people are expected to conform to certain social roles and repress who they really are, where being violent and aggressive is considered to be ‘masculine’, I think a book like this should be taught in secondary schools. Literature and story-telling is a powerful way of changing social norms and spreading new ideas. It’s a way of fighting back against injustice without actually causing conflict.

Fabulous choices. I loved Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses series.

Thank you for sharing your favourite books with us Annmarie. Good luck with your own book.

pieces-2Annmarie’s book This Really Happened is available now. You can find out more about Annmarie on her website or chat to her on Twitter (@Annmarie_writer).

Inheritance Books: Rachel Cathan

Children Reading by Valerie Everett

Today on the Inheritance Books sofa we have Rachel Cathan. Hi Rachel, grab a seat. While I get teas and cake, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?

author-pic-1Hi Rhoda, thanks for the invite; it’s a real treat to be here. [It’s a treat to have you here.] 

I am a writer from Bedfordshire and have recently published my first book, 336 Hours.

I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember and have always tried to weave them into my personal and professional life wherever possible.

I studied Writing and Publishing at university and began my early career in publishing before moving into wider communications-based roles in my twenties and thirties. In terms of my personal writing, I’ve started many books over the years, but 336 Hours is the first one to reach completion. I guess the subject matter, and its connection to an intense period in my own life, gave me the focus I needed to see this one through.
I lived in London for many years but recently moved around ten minutes away from my childhood home, where I live with my husband, two small children and a cantankerous elderly cat. Alongside writing, I am currently training to be a counsellor.

 

Which book have you inherited from the generation above? Why is it special?

I probably need to begin by explaining that my dad was an avid book collector, and by ‘avid’ I mean that we needed to have a loft conversion when I was a teenager so that he could bring some order to what had effectively become a small library.

threemenWhen I was young, my dad and I used to set out on ‘book hunts’ (this was long before the days of Amazon!), searching for an elusive Little Miss or Meg and Mog title that was missing from our collection.
A little later, like most children of my generation, I became a devoted Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake fan, and I will always treasure the signed copies of their books that my dad has passed down to me. He even wrote to Quentin Blake to ask if he might draw a picture of me with my pet hamster for my tenth birthday. The illustration sent in response is still framed on the wall of my mum’s living room. It’s a wonderful illustration, not only in its own right, but also of the life lesson: Ask; you might just get!
It’s difficult to single out just one book from this extensive back-catalogue of inherited books, but if I had to pick one it would be Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome.  I must have been seventeen or eighteen when I read it for the first time, and I remember my dad handing it to me with the words: ‘You’ll like this. It’s funny’. My teenage self was skeptical on both counts. It was written in 1889; was I really going to like it and find it funny? Could I even admit it if I did?

Almost twenty years later I still laugh out loud if certain sections of that book enter my head. It is a bottomless tonic that can brighten the dullest of days. And another important life lesson: that good writing and good comedy are timeless and will connect with a human of any background and age.
Now, fast approaching the age of thirty-eight, with two small children to run around after, I am reminded of this book often, as I shake my legs back to life after extended periods spent scrunched up on the floor, and wonder if I might in fact be developing housemaid’s knee!

Funnily enough, I’ve just been given a copy of this book by a friend who was horrified that I hadn’t read it! It’s on my TBR pile.

 

Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why? 

 

A difficult question to answer, but I’m going to say Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Whilst I have lifeofpifallen in love with hundreds of books in my lifetime, I am usually hard-pushed to remember much of their content when I look back upon them years later. This one I remember in incredible detail; it captivated me in a way that I wasn’t expecting. I love the stunningly dramatic setting of the story, taking the protagonist from a zoo in Pondicherry, to the vast Indian ocean, where he drifts, hopeless, aboard a small lifeboat with only a Bengal tiger for company. And I love the themes explored: human endurance, ingenuity, hope, and the desire within all of us to believe in the unbelievable. The final paragraph moves me to tears of joy just thinking about it now.

I look forward to passing my copy to my children, and I suspect they will fall in love with it just as I did.  

I’ve searched high and low for Life of Pi, but typically can’t put my hands on it now I need it – so I’ve improvised with a few toys I found in the playroom…

I love your improvised picture. I also love Life of Pi… and Lego (Duplo counts).

Thank you so much for sharing your favourite books with us Rachel. All the very best with your book!

336-hours-cover1

 

Rachel’s book 336 hours is available to buy now. You can find out more about Rachel by visiting her website, Facebook page or chatting to her on Twitter (@rachelcathan). 

Inheritance Books: Linda Acaster

Children Reading by Valerie Everett

This week’s guest on Inheritance Books is the romance/ fantasy writer Linda Acaster. We both live in Hull/East Riding, so we run into each other from time to time. Hi Linda. Welcome to Inheritance Books. I’ll go put the kettle on for a cuppa, while you make yourself comfy on the sofa. Why don’t you start off by telling us a bit about yourself.

Oooh, I love comfy cushions. I think it comes with crouching over a hot laptop too long – LOL!la-b4x5-100dpi

I live on the Yorkshire coast just outside Kingston-upon-Hull where I was born – UK City of Culture 2017, no less. There’s a depth of history there that you really have to hunt for as it does
n’t wear its past as overtly as some cities. The old street names are wonderful.
Dagger Lane. Land of Green Ginger. Whitefriargate.

(I love that there’s a building called ‘The second star to the right and straight on till morning’ in Land of Green Ginger. Now that is a special address).

The meaning of these piqued my interest in my mid teens, but my love of history began when I was eleven and moved schools to one newly built. The playing fields were still being levelled and a bulldozer uncovered a Celtic settlement. I watched the archaeological dig from my desk by a first storey window. As one of my characters in the Torc of Moonlight trilogy maintains, there’s no such thing as coincidence. For me, it was the spark that lit the touch-paper.

By twenty I was selling short fiction, sometimes for money, sometimes for the kudos of holding a magazine carrying my by-line, hence the appeal of multiple genres: historical to horror, crime to science fiction and fantasy. A Western romance won me a national award; a historical romance handed me my first book contract. However, the shelf-life of paperbacks is transitory, and I realised that good sales didn’t automatically equate to reprints. When my rights reverted I sat on them, and when the ebook revolution finally pushed into the UK I became an indie author. And have never looked back.

 

Which book have you inherited from a generation above?

swallows-amazonsArthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons (1930), which was never actually mine but loaned to me. I was in my early teens and at school was being force-fed 19th century classics written for adults [rolls eyes]. The book was a godsend of an antidote. It made not a jot of difference that the children in Ransome’s novel lived a more affluent lifestyle from a by-gone era, I was there because the writing pulled me in to experience the adventure. I also learned about boats, and rural life in the Lake District at the time. The novel was dutifully returned to its owner, and I never read the rest in the series, but the memory of this book has stayed with me throughout my adult life. I like to think that it is with this story the notion of a reader being able to learn from a novel while being entertained lodged in my mind. Or perhaps that’s just rosy-viewed hindsight.

 

Which book would you like to leave to future generations?

mythagowoodMythago Wood (1984) by the late Robert Holdstock. The story has an inter-generational feel: a son returning from WW2 to a quintessential English village in Hertfordshire, to a quaint family home beside a wood, the young man wanting to make sense of the obsessive writings of his father who died while he was away. So far so normal. However, the wood, which can be walked round with ease but not crossed due its impenetrable depths, is a remnant of British primeval forest and it both acts as custodian and nurtures the folklore and extinct animals of these isles. There is no magic, only Nature.

It is a wonderfully rich book, in historical content and conjecture, in the spell-binding use of rhythm and language which clothes what we feel we might know of our past, or have half-heard, into the flesh and blood of an alternative reality that is bound in our DNA. It is a novel for those who marvel at the dappled shadows during a weekend woodland walk, or come across a lonely tumulus and wonder when and for whom it was raised. Or hear an animal’s call but never see the animal. It is Fantasy for the mainstream.

That sounds like a wonderful book!

Thank you for sharing your favourite books with us Linda. Best of luck with your latest book!

torcofmoonlight2x3

Linda’s book, A Torc of Moonlight, is available on Amazon. You can find out more about Linda on her website and get in touch with her via Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

 

If you would like to share your Inheritance Books, please contact me on rhodabaxter(at)gmail.com.