14 June 2017

People are always asking me where the ideas for my books come from, and usually I can’t answer as the truth is they just pop into my head, usually uninvited.

But The Woman in the Wood was different. I’d never been to the New Forest before, and when a friend suggested we went there for a couple of days I happily agreed.

As soon as we began driving through the forest towards Burley where we were staying, I got a sort of Witchy vibe. Suddenly I was imagining a woman living like a recluse in a little shack. It was quite a shock to find that Burley was once the home of a famous witch called Sybil Leek. In fact all the shops were full of witchy souvenirs. I took that as an omen and started seriously thinking about a book set in that village.

The shack of famous witch Sybil Leek

The shack of famous witch Sybil Leek

I didn’t want my woman to be a witch, just a little odd, but entirely misunderstood because of that. Added to that I had fifteen year old twins Duncan and Maisy being sent to live with their grandmother because their mother has been put into an asylum. They were bound to be intrigued by someone rumoured to be mad, when it was said their mother was too.

The Woman in the Wood is a dark story. It is about people not being as they seem; family secrets,  and adults who because of the way they were treated as children can be anything from exceedingly dangerous, to merely unable to express their feelings.  Maisy and Duncan have much to learn from all the adults, and danger is never far away. 

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