In which the derelict farmhouse that sparked my historical fantasy, ‘Foxfires’, on a wintery walk many years ago suddenly appears online for sale, and I spend the day wishing it was mine, all mine! Continue reading When Your Muse is For Sale
The moon finally peeked from behind the clouds as the dogs trotted on across the dark, windswept moorland, scattering powdery snow with their tails. The pilot (perhaps called ‘Jack’, but he wasn’t entirely sure) limped along, looking up every so often and cursing the white disc above him. His memory had deserted him, he was frozen to the core, rigid with pain, and beholden to the silent, dour giant of a man beside him. The crash would never have happened on a clear night. He would have made it to wherever the hell he was meant to be… Continue reading Out of the Frying Pan… The Reluctant Rescue of Jack Fairchild
FOXFIRES – what’s it all about?
It was a relief to finally type ‘The End’ on my fourth book and I think the characters felt it too. We’ve been working together on and off for twelve years now in extremely adverse conditions, and they’ve been very patient with me… Continue reading Welcome to the Family, Foxfires!
When I’m writing a larger piece of work, one of the fun parts is the conjuring of odd snippets to add to the history or background of the story. Sometimes these snippets end up in the book (like the chapter headings in The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook and the petitions in Blackwood), and sometimes they initiate a complete change of direction.
This snippet will be part of the book ‘Foxfires’. The protagonist, trapped in a snowbound farmhouse with strangers, will come across the thin volume of curious tales with this particular page corner turned down. He is already in fear of his life, so this’ll really make him freak out. Hee hee! (Sorry Jack!)
‘Curious Tales from Travels in Yorkshire’ by M.Nesbitt
Chapter 8: A Disturbance at an Inn on the Edge of the Moors
“In the autumn of 1905, the author was passing through a village on the edge of Saddleworth Moor when he decided to rest and take refreshment at a small inn. At first glance, the inn seemed peaceful and emanated a warm glow from a lit fireplace but, upon entering, I was alarmed to find several weeping women and angry men. A number of the gentlemen were arming themselves as if for battle, though the distressed ladies pleaded with them to reconsider. They made no allowance for a stranger in their midst and continued with their heated discussion.
I asked the innkeeper if I could partake of a brandy as the weather was inclement, and it appeared winter was arriving before its time. He poured me my drink with one ear on the growing dispute behind me. I wondered out loud what was happening and he shook his head with a grimace and told me that Mr Hawkins, a young farmer, had not returned from tending his sheep in the hills. His sheepdog, Bess, came home without him and in a dreadful state, covered nose to tail in mud and bleeding from numerous lacerations. Clearly agitated, she set off again after just a few hours rest, presumably to find her master, and she had not come back. Continue reading “Building up a History for ‘Foxfires’”