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A Summer at Sea (2016)

The idea for this book came to me by text. I was contacted by a local midwife who had delivered my granddaughter, so I already liked her. She had my mobile number because she was married to the local photographer who had often visited my house. Mandy Rowbotham (known in our town as Mandy the Midwife) was doing a Masters in Creative Writing and wanted a bit of help. My instant reaction was, happy to help as long as I can find out about being a midwife in return. She loved the idea and we had regular meetings exchanging knowledge. (I’m happy to report that her book, A Woman at War is coming out early next year.) So I had my heroine. Then, by chance, my agent, who is also George Orwell’s agent sent me an email from Jura. He told me that he’d just seen a Puffer (small Scottish cargo vessel) in full steam. I replied that I’d known the owners of this particular  puffer since before they had it. Before either of these things I knew I wanted to set a book in Scotland because I’d so enjoyed writing 'To Scotland with Love', a long short story that is in A Christmas Feast. Then we had to do a couple of research trips to Crinan (oh the hardship!) and I was all set. 

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