It’s the two buses at once thing. I don’t visit Truro for years and then twice in one week. The first was a day trip with Buckland Abbey Social Club. We were caught in a heavy downpour just before we were due back at the coach so popped into the Cathedral – no, not just for that reason. It is relatively new in that it was built in the 1800′s, the foundation stone being laid by Edward, Duke of Cornwall, who became Edward VII. Amongst the many outstanding features the thing that caught my eye was a terracotta frieze featuring various passages from the Bible. This is by George Tinworth – ashamed to say I’ve never heard of him – who was one of the foremost sculptors of his day – the detail is fascinating. The second trip to the city was an early Christmas shopping trip with my 15 and 14 year old granddaughters. Totally focussed and ultimately exhausting but lovely for all that. People are beginning to adopt that harassed pre-Christmas look. I love Christmas once it arrives but the build up drives me mad. In Family Secrets I start the book with my character Josie doing the last of her supermarket shopping and feeling the pressure. As always whilst visiting a new place I am on the look-out for potential storylines and enjoying absorbing the feel of it.
Had a look through the novel I am working on just now. I love developing the characters and finding out more about them as I go on. It means that I often have to make adjustments to the beginning of the story as this happens so I think of the process as a sort of wave, a movement back and forth which may seem laborious but it’s what works for me. As I often say to new writers, you have to find out for yourself which method works for you as there is no right or wrong way. Meticulous planning suits some people and a more flexible route others. Whenever I try to plan ahead too much it always takes a diversion but that’s just me. I love that not quite knowing what’s going to happen next feeling. I’m 186 pages in now and my characters are all poised on the brink of something – not quite sure what.