Sharing her five photos with me today is author Lilac Mills, who writes feel-good romantic stories. Lilac guested on my blog back in January, answering some questions for me, so if you’d like to know more about her after viewing these pictures, click here.
Five pictures eh? What of, I asked myself when it was time to make a selection, and how do you choose what to put in and what to leave out. I finally made my decision, though I must say, it took a while, and when reading through the reasons for picking each of the photos, I realised my words, if not the sentiment behind them, are quite melancholy. I don’t mean them to be, but the words come from the heart, so perhaps I’ve used up all my humour between the pages of the books I write!
Me – Hiding!
I hate having my photo taken, so this one, covering most of my face, is ideal. Besides, it’s quite arty and I like that. I’ve been playing around with photo effects for marketing and decided, for once, to use my own image.
I’ve never liked seeing photos of myself – probably because when I see them I think “Lord, do I really look like that!?” which doesn’t do much for my self-esteem. Consequently, my family have to be sneaky and catch me unawares, which is probably worse than if I’d posed for the darned thing in the first place.
This is my grandmother at eighteen. I love this photo, not only because of who it depicts and its slightly out-of-focus sepia quality, but because the woman I remember was at the other end of her life, and not the girl staring out at me. This young woman had over eighty years left to live (she died at 103), and when this was taken, those years in front of her were all so full of possibilities. When I look into her eyes I know she can’t envisage what will happen, so it seems strange to me to look at this photo and know how her life pans out, when she herself has no idea she will marry, bear a child, lose her husband too soon, or that she won’t pass on herself until many, many years later. But I don’t know her life really, do I? This grandmother of mine, who kissed and cuddled me, and held me close to her heart, had hopes and fears that I can’t know anything about. I only have snippets of her life to cherish, gleaned from photos and stories and my own memories, but who she really was eludes me, despite her being a part of me – I see myself in her face, I carry her genes in my body, and her legacy lives on in me and my daughter. But most of all, I carry her love in my heart.
It was a privilege to know you, Gran.
I’ve had many dogs touch my life, but it was this last one, a scruffy, determined, stubborn Westie called Millie, whose passing I mourned more than the others. She was such a sweet soul, and if it wasn’t for the fact that I had Millie before my grandmother died, I could have sworn the dog was a reincarnation of her. They had the same hair style for one, and from the back, when Millie was sitting down, they looked remarkably similar (except for the ears!).
I’m not sure whether this will be my last dog. I’m tempted to have another, but I still feel Millie’s presence in the house – I hear her claws on the tiles, the tinkle of the tag on her collar, and every so often I feel a draft as she walks past. No wonder I needed to write about her in Under the Cherry Tree! She’s still so alive to me, and in my novel I know she’ll live on in other people’s minds and hearts, too.
My favourite holiday destination
Olu Deniz on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast is probably one of my most favourite places on earth (except for my own bed and my comfy chair). My husband and I have been visiting there for years, and have watched it grow from a fairly quiet little place. We still love it – it’s the backdrop for Elephant and Pinky Moon, and in the same way as it worked its magic on the characters in my book, it captivated us from the first time we set eyes on it. The steep-sided valley, the fabulously warm lagoon, the blistering sun, the high mountains, all served to cast a spell on us. And please don’t get me started on the food!!
This book was my go-to book for a very long time. I have no idea why, because I was a fairies and Malory Towers kind of girl. I grew up on a diet of firstly Noddy, then Enid Blyton in all her glorious forms; I devoured the Just William stories and then moved on to Narnia and Middle Earth, and the James Herriot collection. I remember them all fondly, for I lived in those pages more than I ever lived in the real world.
But for some reason the story about a wild-born stallion in the American West kept drawing me back. I’ve never forgotten this story, nor the way it made me feel, and though my own copy sadly disappeared many years ago, it has a special place in my literacy heart.
Thank you so much for sharing these photos, Lilac. I really have enjoyed looking through them, and I’m sure others will, too.
Lilac spends all her time writing, or reading, or thinking about writing or reading, often to the detriment of her day job, her family, and the housework. She apologises to her employer and her loved ones, but the house will simply have to deal with it!
She calls Worcester home, though she would prefer to call somewhere hot and sunny home, somewhere with a beach and cocktails and endless opportunities for snoozing in the sun…
When she isn’t hunched over a computer or dreaming about foreign shores, she enjoys creating strange, inedible dishes in the kitchen, accusing her daughter of stealing (she meant to say “borrowing”) her clothes, and fighting with her husband over whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher.
Find out more about Lilac‘s books by clicking here.