I usually try to get a morning walk in across the fields, through woodland, along footpaths, when I can, after doing the school run. It banishes low feelings, exercises the body and gets me thinking about the day ahead. It’s especially useful if I’m working on a new Jack and Boo book, which are all set out in nature. A writer needs to observe the world and then try and describe it anew. I try to do this when writing Jack and Boo books. I try to think about how I can describe something we might see everyday and take for granted, in a new way. Our autumn book called Jack and Boo’s Wild Wood took ages to write despite its brevity. This is partly because I’m the world’s slowest writer, but mostly because the story follows the adventures of Jack and Boo in a wood from spring through to autumn. It’s a challenge to write about a season or event you are not directly experiencing, so I make notes through the year and then later refer to them. Ultimately, you cannot beat getting out into nature and observing. But, please do watch out for cows.
On my frosty walk today I encountered a herd of cows blocking the style I needed to cross. Bearing in mind this is the same field I got chased by sheep in during summer, I really didn’t fancy my chances, so I opted for the country lane instead. Still, all grist for the mill…coming soon… Jack and Boo’s Terrifying Run from a Herd of Evil Cows!