People often suggest ideas for books and mostly, I smile and say, ‘that’s a book for you to write.’ But an old friend had gone on about the Master Mason at Gloucester Cathedral for years and eventually I caved in and was introduced. What a hero! I knew I had to have him and his enormous skill in a book somehow.
But there’s always more than one inspiration for a book and A Secret Garden has at least three. In fact, if I think about it too hard I realise just how many there were for this one.
One of them is bread. I think yeast is just magic and when I met The Artisan Baker I realised that in the right hands it really is! I always love writing about food.
I was also inspired to write about a garden designer, partly by the talented and forgiving woman who looks after my garden and partly by another garden designer who’s in my choir. I do love it when I know what my character looks like from the off!
Somehow I managed to weave these ideas into a book I really enjoyed writing.