Sunday, March 10, 2013

The story behind my latest book: Pathway to Tomorrow


My latest book, Pathway to Tomorrow has just been published. There's a story behind it too.

I live close to the beach, near pinewoods and wonderful, wild vistas. The area is criss-crossed with bridleways because a lot of people ride horses through the woodlands and down to the beach. It is also idyllic dog walking country. Consequently, when a wealthy business man purchased a derelict farmhouse and closed off the adjacent bridleway that led to the open fields and then on down to the beach, it caused a great deal of local angst. Horse riders and dog lovers alike all protested. In the end, common sense prevailed. The new land owner opened up the bridleway again and dealt with his own privacy by planting hundreds of trees and bushes and installing a lot of fencing. Who can blame him? Nobody does locally now that access to the beach is available again. After all, who would want every passerby to be able to see into their house? As well, the building of the house and its adjoining estate has been a source of great local interest for several years.

That is as far as any resemblance to Pathway to Tomorrow is concerned of course. I don't know the local businessman. His house is no longer visible from the path because the bushes have grown, and a huge double gate blocks off his driveway. The demolition of the old farmhouse and the building of a huge property with stables, a gym, a swimming pool and myriad outbuildings prompted the beginning of my story though. After walking past it for months it suddenly occurred to me that it was just the setting I was looking for, for Marcus, my hero.

There is another equally important part to the story too. How did I find Marcus? Well a lot of months ago I was invited to listen to the Red Stripe Band http://www.red-stripe.info, a fantastic and fun jazz band that has played all over the world and been feted by many big names but, when I happened on it, was performing at a small venue in the Yorkshire Dales. Go to my blog post http://bit.ly/14GxVNL to see it.

On that evening I 'discovered' Marcus. He wasn't any of the performers but more an amalgam of the whole ethos of the band; someone who lived and breathed music and loved to share it with others. He changed during the writing of course. It always happens when a writer lets the hero take over! And when he 'told' me he could't perform any more but had to concentrate on composition...well I had to let him. Who am I to argue with someone as single-minded as Marcus? I still owe many thanks to the Red Strip Band, however. It was there at the right time, when I needed some inspiration, and I have dedicated my book to it. Thanks for the music Red Stripe.

And what about Marcus' story? Well, when he bought the derelict farmhouse next to Jodie’ Eriksson's riding school he didn't know whether to be amused or irritated by her angry reaction to his plans. Then her sister Izzie visited him and made things a whole lot worse…or was it better…because now he had an excuse to see Jodie again.

Although, when he sees her, it’s not exactly a meeting of minds, they do discover they have one thing in common; they both believe they know what’s best for Izzie, and for Marcus' son Luke. It turns out they’re wrong. The children they thought they were protecting need to be set free. It’s Jodie and Marcus who have the problem; but can two broken hearts make one whole one? The battle lines that were set when they first met have long since been breached but the war won’t be over until Jodie learns how to trust again, and until Marcus allows himself to believe in his son.