Sunday, 2 March 2014

Finding Inspiration in Shropshire

Ask an author where they find inspiration and you will have a million different answers - from the same author.

When I started to write Finding Zoe, I had no idea I would base it in my own home county, after all, I had a perfectly good world I had built on a ranch in America, but when Mac told Michael he was off on location, everything slid into place.

I'm not born and bred in Shropshire, but I found my home here and I'm not sure I'd want to live anywhere else now. So when Mac returned to England it wasn't the hustle and bustle of London I chose for my setting, so well known to everyone, it was the rolling hills of Shropshire. A well kept secret that we don't speak about very often in case more people move here:

So here's an excerpt and the location is real. I walk my dog there and stand in the same spot and gaze over the same view as Mac.

Almost eleven years had passed since he’d been there. Right at this very spot in the heart of Shropshire, England. Eleven years and his heart soared as he stood at the top of Major’s Leap on Wenlock Edge, careful not to get too close to the bluff in case his fear of heights got the better of him. He breathed in the fresh English air, filled his lungs with it.

He gazed over the acres of rich land. He’d forgotten the contrasts of color in the bright English countryside. The lush bottle-green of the trees against the bright emerald and pale jade of the square fields with their acres of crops swaying opulent and thick, contrasted with handkerchiefs of vivid yellow rapeseed fields sitting comfortably next to the mud-brown of the newly plowed areas. Forest-green hedgerows divided the land, populated with poppies splattered randomly over the landscape like droplets of blood.

As the warm English summer wind buffeted him, he closed his eyes and wondered why it had taken him so long to come back.

“Mr. Blunt?”

He knew why.

“Mr. Blunt, sir…are you ready?”

It was because of her.

“Mr. Blunt…”

“Yes. I’m ready.”

Opening his eyes, he sighed. He took a moment longer to scan the landscape, tracking the clear, pale blue sky; he drew his gaze across the horizon. He smiled as he recognized the rise of The Wrekin in the distance and remembered her telling him the tale of some giant dumping a shovel of dirt on the plains of Shropshire, which made the hill.

With a wry smile he turned away, saddened for a moment as he wondered what had become of her. From time to time she still managed to make his heart ache.

He turned away from the view, from the memories, from the dull throb in his chest.

He’d made them all park in the small, rutted parking lot. His entire entourage, nineteen of them, had trudged up the rough terrain of Wenlock Edge just so he could take a look at the view. Like he’d looked at the view so many times—so long ago.

Tell me where you live and why you love it. I'm going to give a copy of Finding Zoe to one lucky commenter.

Diane Saxon Buy the Books

Liquid Silver Books

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