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Taking a slow walk… by Rosa Temple
2022/04/14  |  By:   |  Features  |  

The Slow Lane Walkers Club is set in beautiful Cornwall, close to the South West Coast Path, between the scenic villages of Trevone and Harlyn. I have friends who own a second home close to Harlyn but I wasn’t able to visit them for some hands on research because I was writing the book during the first Covid lockdown. It was a time of living our lives through Zoom and putting ring lights on Wishlists. I contacted my friends when I was deciding on a place for lead character Daniel to return to before beginning a new chapter in his life. They helped me create the backdrop to Daniel’s journey, his new walking club and the characters who help him shape the decisions he goes on to make.

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My friends in Cornwall checked out various locations and sent me the most amazing landscape photographs, some taken by drone. I sat with my friend, Andy, (a former Olympic swimmer whose voice you’ll hear commentating at international swimming events) who talked me through the photographs via Zoom. He had captured shots of the coast path along which Daniel leads his walking club. Andy had previously researched the birds and foliage around the area and was able to share a lot of local knowledge with me. The coasts of Cornwall are world famous for their beaches, especially for surfing, which figures a lot in the novel. Luckily for me, Andy’s daughter worked at a surfing shop and school, just as my character, Jess, from the book does. She helped me understand everything I now know about surfing, without my ever having been on a surf board.

I owe a lot to the family for helping me find the sense of place in the story and I plan to return to Cornwall for a visit later this year.

I first visited Cornwall many years ago. I was there to record vocals for an album in a studio and to stay at an on site cottage. I’d driven down from London on my own, concentrating on the directions, rather than the surroundings. I remember the chocolate box cottage I stayed in was rustic, set in a lazy yard, had timber framed casement windows and was home to a cat who slept on the breadboard. Two days later, before I set off for home, the owner of the cottage commented on my clothes, particularly my hat and boots, and said I was dressed for London. She said something throwaway about life in the fast lane. I didn’t think much about this, but after I’d left the quiet country lanes and joined the hectic, motorway traffic I realised how much I was living a fast lane existence. I’d been recording for two days and hadn’t seen anything of the area past the fences and surrounding woods, it hadn’t even occurred to me to explore. I was there for work, I did my job and left.

Now that I’ve slowed my pace of life considerably by moving out of London into the Herefordshire countryside, I’ve managed to achieve the sense of community that Daniel discovers back in his home village. Something I never got from life in London. Now, I walk country lanes every morning and I’m looking forward to taking a slow walk along the South West Coast Path.

Love,

Rosa x

The Slow Lane Walkers Club is a feel-good tale of unlikely friendship, community and learning to live life in the slow lane, perfect for fans of Clare Pooley and Hazel Prior.

Daniel isn’t used to living life in the slow lane. So when he finds himself unexpectedly jobless and back in his old Cornish hometown, he can’t sit still.

Hazel used to be adventurous too. But now widowed and in her eighties, she barely leaves the house. When she sees an advert for Daniel’s new walking club, she grabs at the chance of some excitement.

Daniel’s heart sinks when he sees that the only person who’s turned up for his walking club is the crazy old lady from two doors down. But what he doesn’t expect is to discover that Hazel is one of the most fascinating people he’s ever met…

 

‘A very enjoyable read’ Rosamond *****

‘This was a cute, fun and easy read, well written with a compelling and uplifting storyline and well developed, relatable and likeable characters’ Aria ****

‘Such an uplifting and all round brilliant read. If you’re looking for a heartwarming, uplifting novel this one is for you’ *****

‘A feel-good story of unlikely friendships and community. Easy to read and enjoyable’ Heather ****

‘Beautifully written with wonderful characters… a thought provoking read, highly recommended’ Jeanie *****

‘I loved this book, the friendship between Hazel and Daniel was really heartwarming, it’s like a great big hug in book form, the book everyone needs at this time’ Theresa *****

‘A captivating book that I devoured very quickly due to its endearing characters (Hazel was stupendous) and the charming friendships that blossomed throughout’ Leona *****

‘A perfect holiday read’ Lisa *****

‘A great book to take on holiday’ Joanne

‘An endearing, uplifting, well written novel. The story and characters draw the reader in and you feel totally involved in their lives’ Jacquelyn ****

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