Thursday, July 3, 2014

Why I Write/Summer Reading

     In May, Cait O'Connor  invited me to join a group of other writer/bloggers including Pamela of The House of Edward in doing a post entitled Why I Write. I was flattered and interested...and distracted and thought I would get to it - in the end.

     In brief, I think I write for the same reason I read: to enter a window into another world.

Chelsea Physik Garden
 I've been thinking of wonderful summer reads - needless to say most set in England. I just finished Kate Atkinson's virtuoso Life After Life. I gobbled it up, loving every minute of it.

 Several years ago, I felt rather the same about Rosamund Pilcher's The Shell Seekers, set in Cornwall.

Jane Gardam's Old Filth Trilogy is a real delight - rich and visual and sensual and altogether astounding.

as above
And as for me - I try to recapture a now vanished world - of family and England and love and hardship. I have recently re-edited Ruth and Gisela which was originally published as A Fortunate Child. It's now available on Amazon's Kindle Direct which means you don't have to have an actual book and can download it in an instant.  Click here for details. A very kind review of the book on the super bookish blog A Work in Progress.

Another window in a very old house in Wiltshire, with the light slipping in sideways - like in old Dutch paintings.

Here is the house where part of  Ruth and Gisela is set. My grandparents' house in Faversham, Kent photographed in about 1952. I'm so glad most of the windows are open. The final photo is of a family celebration some years ago, because my story is about family and mothers and daughters.

Happy 4th of July


  1. A very interesting post. I also write and feel exactly the same as you have described. I'm not creating the characters and landscapes of the people in my books, but letting them guide me through what their world.

  2. What a beautiful post today.
    I love all the windows.
    I do not write but I draw and with that I look upon the world in my own vision.
    Happy 4th.

    cheers, parsnip

  3. Elizabeth, it's grand to see how you took dear Cait's invitation and answered it with beauty and thought and, perhaps, even an invitation to others to write.

    Windows present a wonderful metaphor. Viewed from inside or outside.

    Glad that your book has now got another way to reach readers. May I recommend it to all!

    My current subway reading is Jane Gardam's short story collection Missing the Midnight, published in 1997. May I also recommend this one to all.

    Elizabeth, a certain window to more free time is about to open in my own life. I look forward to seeing you soon, and continuing all our varied conversations.


  4. I have just read Jane Gardam's Old Filth Trilogy - loved it - particularly the unusual way in which is was written.

  5. Beautiful window shots, every one. I've read all the books you listed, and thoroughly enjoyed each of them. In fact, I read the Old Filth series because you'd mentioned it in a previous post some time back. Will look into Ruth and Gisela...may be my first book download on my new tablet!

    Here's a recommendation for you, a surprisingly good read by (of all people)Elizabeth Gilbert, "The Signature of All Things." Unusual story, well written, absorbing, great anti-heroine.

  6. Great now I have your lovely visuals in my head, Love the sideways sunshine, love the house in Faversham, such a pretty little town. Also than you for recommended reads.

  7. The Faversham house is my idea of utter architectural perfection Elizabeth!

  8. In reply to Em Parkinson:
    Yes, Mall House is my dream house - was in the family for 50 years but really very shabby and falling apart inside.
    Sadly now offices.....(of course!)

  9. Beautiful post Elizabeth, thank you. I have a thing for windows, yours are perfect. I am ashamed to say that I haven't read the Old Filth series but will now on your recommendation. I love all the photos and your granddaughters are beautiful too.
    I wonder if we would want to write if we did not read, I doubt it!

  10. I honestly had no idea that you are an author, Elizabeth. How wonderful!! You've given me an idea or two of books I can read for the remainder of the summer. I read Shellseakers years ago and I fell in love with it. My mother adores books like that one, as well. I'll have to pass along the other titles that you've mentioned, including yours. : )

    ~ Wendy


I look forward to hearing from you!