So, last night I had to cover up all my recent plantings. Yes, I know, it was too soon to be buying new tender plants. In Canada we are cautioned to wait until after May 24 before starting a summer garden and this year was not the year to jump ahead.
I did it because my husband loves the look of our patio with colourful planters right in front of his favourite seat. I enjoy selecting the plants and planning which will make the best combinations. My best trick is to buy a large hanging basket stuffed with pretty items which I then carefully disentangle and replant as separate additions to flowerbeds or large pots.
Now that I think of it, this is probably the way I compose my stories. I have lived large chunks of interesting life experience in Scotland, Canada and England. Out of these vivid memories I tease individual events, feelings or characters and nourish them with little snippets of my imagination. Hopefully, the final effect is bright, charming and involving, with contrasts but no jarring elements.
I call myself a Contemporary Women’s Fiction writer and I always incorporate current events of one kind or another. This derives from my reading habits. I read two newspapers every day and a UK one on the weekend. I watch 60 Minutes faithfully, as well as other television series, (mostly sci-fi! Escapism, I think!) and try to keep up with what is going on in the world. Often this is not the most pleasant reading. These days there are wars and rumours of wars everywhere. I find something positive if I can and cling to that, as I am sure most of you do also. This is how Jake’s MS story arrived in Now or Never, the American Lottery Club’s economic problems in Sea Changes, and mental issues were highlighted in Seven Days There and Seven Days Away . (Just wait till you read the novella Seven Days With Zoe! Can you guess what will happen to her?)
You will always be sure to discover solutions to problems in my books. It’s the way I compensate for life’s uncertainties and the reason why I write fiction. Who else, other than an author, can shape the world the way she wishes it to be?