In Conversation

I’ll be honest, I took September hard. It started with being away in Scotland when the swifts left. This year more than any other, I was desperate for the light to linger, and the darkness and damp to stay away. So, I turned to one of my favourite Autumn reads, Wind in the Willows, and flicked through my battered copy to one of the ‘lyrical’ sections editors cut in abridged versions, but which are the bits I love the best. Ratty struggles with the turn to Autumn too, and Grahame writes a touching depiction of the way the seasons can affect some people’s mental health. His best friend Moley, deals with it just perfectly…

“Mole turned his talk to the harvest that was being gathered in… the large moon rising over bare acres dotted with sheaves… of reddening apples… the browning nuts, of jams and preserves… til… he reached midwinter, it’s hearty joys and… snug home life… and by degrees the Rat began to sit up and join in…”

And slowly, by degrees, I began to sit up and join in too.

One of the big festivals of Autumn is Halloween, so to mark the season, today, the wonderful Elizabeth Ezra and I released an In Conversation film of us discussing our books. Elizabeth’s book, Ruby McCraken – Tragic Without Magic, won the Kelpies Prize two years before mine. Both our stories are about witches and magic so are perfect reads for the season. We chat about the inspiration behind our books, migration, girl power and the influence of Scotland on our writing. Above is a still from the film of me laughing my head off! Below is the film for you to watch. Make yourself a cup of hot chocolate and find yourself a cosy armchair to snuggle up in and have a listen!

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