As part of the Cornish Reading Challenge, I spoke to author Liz Fenwick about her writing process and love of Cornwall.
Writer, expat expert, wife, mother of three, dreamer turned doer…
Liz Fenwick was born in Massachusetts, and after nine international moves, now lives in Dubai with her husband and two mad cats. Her debut novel, The Cornish House, was published by Orion in 2012, and is available in several languages. Her next novel, Under a Cornish Sky, will be released by Orion in June 2015.
When artist Maddie inherits a house in Cornwall shortly after the death of her husband, she hopes it will be the fresh start she and her step-daughter Hannah desperately need.
Trevenen is beautiful but neglected, a rambling house steeped in history. Maddie is enchanted by it and determined to learn as much as she can about its past. As she discovers the stories of generations of women who’ve lived there before, Maddie begins to feel her life is somehow intertwined within its walls.
But Maddie’s dream of a calm life in the countryside is far from the reality she faces. Still struggling with her grief and battling with Hannah, Maddie is unable to find inspiration for her painting and realises she may face the prospect of having to sell Trevenen, just as she is coming to love it.
And as Maddie and Hannah pull at the seams of Trevenen’s past, the house reveals secrets that have lain hidden for generations.
Back in 1989, Fenwick’s now-husband took her to Cornwall on a glorious June weekend to meet his parents.
I fell in love with Cornwall with its hedgerows filled with foxgloves and tiny lanes. Their house was not far from Frenchman’s Creek. As I walked along its banks, its magic and the magic of Cornwall began its spell on me. Now every time I’m home I see stories in the landscape.
She loves most of the Cornish coast, but a couple of places have captured her heart.
The Helford River and the Lizard peninsular win hands down every time.
Fenwick is currently working on her fifth novel, The Returning Tide, which of course involves Cornwall. Her advice to aspiring writers is to keep at it:
Be persistent, be professional, never stop trying to grow as a writer and listen aloud to your work.
Despite being hard at work, Fenwick will be holding some book signings very soon.
I am just beginning to work out some bookshop book signings around the paperback release of A Cornish Stranger on the 24th of April and the release of Under A Cornish Sky on the 4th of June.
She is just finishing The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, and has some fabulous recommendations for the Cornish Reading Challenge.
This or That
- Seaside or countryside? Seaside
- Ice cream or pasty? Ice cream
- Sunshine or rain? Sunshine
- E-book or paperback? Paperback
- Tea or coffee? Coffee
Fenwick’s books are available on Lovereading and TripFiction. Will you be reading one of her books for the Cornish Reading Challenge?
#CornishReadingChallenge | @VikkiPatis | @lovereadinguk | @TripFiction