Notes From The Cotswolds – Leaping back into Larkford! by Penny Parkes
There’s a summer rainstorm pelting the windows and the world is up in arms about yet more political upheaval, but I have to confess that, for the last four days, I really haven’t noticed. Sneaking away to dive, head first, into shaping my next book in the Larkford series has been an utter delight.
Finding time to write at home, you see, is not the problem: the children are at school, mostly; the ever-tolerant Mr P has long since given up on the notion of coming home to find a casserole in the oven; and The Ginger Ninja is, despite her youth, the perfect canine writing companion. So why am I tucked away in a beautiful hotel room under the eaves of a Cotswold hotel?**
Well, it’s like this – writing isn’t just about putting words on the page, although let’s be honest, that does rather help if you plan to write a novel. For me, it’s also about working out what I want to say. Scratch that – what I really want to say. And for that I need not just a little bit of time, but a little bit of space without distractions.
Because, although I am dashing around with a whole community of characters in my head every day, I still want them to speak to me, and to you the reader, as individuals. And in fiction, as in real life, I want their opinions and experiences to be authentic. I want to feel that Elsie Townsend might strike a chord with you and make you stop and think. I’d quite like it if you went to bed at night with visions of Dr Taffy Jones, or Dr Dan Carter, dancing through your dreams. And I would really love it, if you picked up the phone and called your best friend for a chat, just because hearing Holly and Lizzie putting their fictional world to rights reminded you to celebrate your friendships too, wherever they may be.
Now I will warn you in advance, there is a new addition to the team at The Practice who has stolen my heart – her name is Coco and she is a cocker spaniel, a very talented cocker spaniel at that. But, I beg of you please, if Coco speaks to you too and you happen to work a fourteen-hour day and have no back garden, do not go out and get a spaniel! But you can do this… hop on to the Internet and donate to one of the very marvellous charities changing people’s lives with this amazing work. Medical detection dogs are one of the most insightful, empathetic and forward thinking initiatives in healthcare today – but don’t just take my word for it. You can read about Coco and how she captures hearts and minds in Larkford in Practice Makes Perfect, but also click here and see how Molly has utterly transformed the life of Steven and his family.
I can’t wait to hear what you think, when Practice Makes Perfect hits the shelves/e-readers on 29th June and we all get to go back to Larkford for more dishy doctors, dogs and devilment. And in the meantime, can we just agree not to mention the laundry that’s piling up at home in my absence, or the bill for sustaining G&Ts in the bar downstairs? Yes?
With love from Larkford x
**Okay, it’s also because I’m incredibly lucky, I confess….
Practice Makes Perfect, the brand new full length novel is out in June!