Monday, 11 September 2017

Back to the back stories: the inspiration behind Just One More Summer

What do you think of when you hear the name ‘Cornwall’? Family holidays? Beautiful beaches? Smuggling? Cornwall lies on the south west coastline of England and includes the UK’s most westerly point. It is well known for its 300 miles of stunning coastline and is a very popular tourist destination that has a special place in many people’s hearts.

The extract below was originally published in an earlier Sunpenny blog and is Julie McGowan's touching back story on why she wrote her poignant and evocative novel, Just One More Summer, which is set in Cornwall. With summer coming to an end in the northern hemisphere and just beginning in southern climes, we thought it would be fitting to re-publish this post.


Porthcurno north Cornwall, England This reminds me of that level on MarioKart64
Over to Julie:
Whenever I think of ‘escape’, wanting to throw off the shackles of everyday life and experience a sense of freedom, I’m drawn to the wide open spaces of Cornwall and its dramatic, untamed coastline bordering an ocean that could, indeed, carry one across the world.
So when my character, Allie, in ‘Just One More Summer’ feels the desperate need to get away following a painful divorce, it made sense to me that she would head for Cornwall.
For her, though, whilst the turbulence of her life is reflected in the  Poldark-type wildness and unpredictability of the region, it’s that other aspect of Cornwall that she’s drawn to – the well-remembered childhood holidays when the days were long on endless beaches, the sky was blue and the sea becalmed. Many ‘Enid Blyton’ holidays with my own family were spent in this way and it’s a comfort we all turn to when our lives take a difficult turn.
Then there’s the mystical Cornwall, of  King Arthur and Merlin at Tintagel, smugglers’ tale and Celtic legends, along with the beautiful light, which appeals to artists and free spirits. It was this Cornwall that drew my other main character, Marsha, to it over thirty years before, and kept her in its thrall ever since.
So much variety in one region makes it the perfect place to write about in a novel, and the fictitious Tremorden in ‘Just One More Summer’  is an amalgam of Bude and St. Ives and a few coastal villages in between.
The Celtic connection is also evident in my two other novels, ‘The Mountains Between’ and ‘Don’t Pass Me By’, but in Wales this time. There too, the ‘separateness’,  the myths and the history, even down to the mining (tin in Cornwall, coal in Wales)  produce a strong sense of identity and community in its people, which is a major theme in my books.
I think you have to have strong feelings about a place  – preferably love, but sometimes hate – to draw an adequate word picture. My love affair with Cornwall, its dark mysteries and compelling coastline, started long ago, and is surpassed only by my love of my homeland, Wales.

Julie McGowan
Thank you, Julie. Your book is a lovely tribute to the wild beauty of Cornwall! For those interested in reading Julie's lovely novel, the link to the kindle and paperback versions of the book on Amazon is here
The link to the Book Depository is here

1 comment:

Vallypee said...

Julie's book is sooo evocative of Cornwall. I really enjoyed it and thinking of it reminds me of a Cornish beach on a summer's day. Lovely!