Today, I visited The Cabin, at Bucks Mills, left untouched since the 1970s when it was abandoned following the death of the artist, Judith Ackland, by her devastated partner, Mary Stella Edwards. Mary declared it should be left as it was, a testimony to their lives together as artists. It’s a tiny place, but how devoid of any distraction it must have been. Bucks Mills is isolated now, so must have been truly so then, making the opportunity to intimately observe nature, land and sea, and to spend time painting in the warmer summer months, a jewel.
It was lovely to meet two of the authors. Wendy Percival, originally a primary teacher from Shropshire, was inspired to write crime novels after tracing her family history upon finding some old documents. Is there such a thing as genealogical crime fiction?
By contrast, despite being born in North Devon, which barely saw a Roman, Ruth Downie’s writing interests are of that period. What inspired them? Well, in Ruth’s case, Hadrian’s Wall, but the authors and I discussed the boredom that accompanies the female domestic role, making the desire (for women especially) to do something creative, imperative.
Throw in some hard work and real focus, too, of course, as being a published author is never easy.
So, now all I need to do is to try reading some of their books. And get stuck into my own writing!