I know it's only November but I am going to mention the dreaded "C" word. After all, the shops are already full of glitter and presents and the television is showing ads for the latest perfume and all those things you never realised you needed. And the publishing world is gearing up for the festive season, too.
My latest Sarah Mallory is on the shelves now, as part of a Christmas Special called One Snowy Regency Christmas. I love the cover of this book, it looks like a beautiful Christmas card, but I wanted to share with you the painting that was the inspiration for this book.
We were on holiday on Exmoor, staying at the beautiful little village of Porlock and when we were at one of the local inns, the Ship, I saw a copy of the painting below. It is called "Journey's End" by a local artist, Maurice Bishop. Once I had seen it I knew I just had to have a copy, and at the same time my mind was working overtime, thinking of a story that involved my hero and heroine being snowbound in a house on the moors. I also wanted to use Porlock, so I changed its name of the village to Mersecombe, but kept an inn called the Ship.
Then, as we were making our way home from the holiday, my editor rang to ask if I could write a special Christmas story. The timing could not have been better, and the result is "Snowbound with the Notorious Rake."
So, what do you think of when you see "Journey's End"? I have a framed print on my wall now (signed by the artist) and I must admit, I think there may be several other stories to come out of this yet…..
I am very grateful to Maurice Bishop for allowing me to use this image, and if you want to see more of Maurice's work, go to www.mauricebishop.co.uk