I’m very pleased today to welcome Alison May to my blog. Alison writes wonderful romantic comedies and women’s fiction, and she’s a very active presence on social media! I’ve loved looking at her choice of photos for this feature, and I’m sure you will too. Over to Alison …
I could easily have picked six or ten or a hundred photos for this post, but here are five that made me smile as I was searching through the thousands on my computer.
The Top of the Hill
This photo was taken by my husband at the top of Pendle Hill on my birthday in 2003. It shows me, my sister and my brother-in-law at the top of a long walk up a big hill. It’s also the photo that hangs on the wall next to my desk in my office where I write. I always think it feels like a very positive image. I love that we’re facing out at the world rather than in towards the camera. And that view is just spectacular. And I look like a super slim hill-climbing goddess. Which is not why I picked the photo. Not at all. That would be very shallow.
Worcester in flood
I’ve lived in Worcester since 1999, and the riverside is one of my favourite parts of the city. So this is a great picture of the river going under a railway bridge. Yes? Well no. That is the River Severn, but what you’re looking at here is supposed to be road. The river should be somewhere off to the left on the other side of those trees. They’ve improved our flood defences now, but we used to get flooding quite regularly. I remember this flood, in July 2007, particularly, because it was the same day that the seventh Harry Potter book came out. So, being as I couldn’t go anywhere, but our local co-op did have copies of Harry Potter, I had absolutely no choice but to lie on the sofa and read all day.
I love this picture. It’s of one of my favourite views in the world looking out across Lake Windermere in the Lake District. Now I don’t think of myself as the outdoorsy type, but my husband (who you can see in this pic) definitely is, so I’m blaming him for the fact that I have a picture of the Lake District and one of a hill walk in my selection. I do genuinely love the Lake District though. It’s completely stunning and I’ve managed to catch an impressively (and unusually) sunny moment here.
A Bit of Writing Inspiration
My next book, co-written with Janet Gover under the penname Juliet Bell, is set in a former mining community in the north of England. I was trying to get the sense of place across to Janet, who is from quite a long way south of our setting (Australia in fact!) I had in mind a terraced estate with a pub and a church (or possibly two). Cue a whole day spent driving around taking pictures of houses. This is my favourite inspiration shot from that day – I love the red brick, the closeness of the church and the community, and even the greyness of the day. It hit exactly the right note in my mind when I took the shot.
And a sea otter
Because who isn’t cheered by a picture of a sea otter? Just look at his little sea otter paws, and his little sea otter frown. You’re feeling better about the world now, aren’t you? Sea otters are good like that.
So those are my five photos. Catch me on a different day and I’d probably pick a completely different set, but I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s selection!
Alison May is a novelist and short story writer. She writes romantic comedies and commercial women’s fiction. Alison has been shortlisted in the Love Stories and RoNA Awards. Alison is currently Vice-Chair of the RNA, and, alongside her own writing, works as a freelance writing tutor and editor.
Alison also writes in collaboration with award-winning author, Janet Gover, under the penname Juliet Bell (www.julietbell.co.uk and @JulietBellBooks).
About The Heights by Juliet Bell (myBook.to/TheHeights)
Two hundred years since Emily Brontë’s birth comes The Heights: a modern re-telling of Wuthering Heights set in 1980s Yorkshire.
A grim discovery brings DCI Lockwood to Gimmerton’s Heights Estate – a bleak patch of Yorkshire he thought he’d left behind for good. There, he must do the unthinkable, and ask questions about the notorious Earnshaw family.
Decades may have passed since Maggie closed the pits and the Earnshaws ran riot – but old wounds remain raw. And, against his better judgement, DCI Lockwood is soon drawn into a story.
A story of an untameable boy, terrible rage, and two families ripped apart. A story of passion, obsession, and dark acts of revenge. And of beautiful Cathy Earnshaw – who now lies buried under cold white marble in the shadow of the moors.
The Heights is a collaboration between Alison May and Janet Gover, writing as Juliet Bell. The Heights is out on 3rd January 2018 and is available to order now: myBook.to/TheHeights