I am back from a wonderful writing retreat with some of the Scattered Authors Society
The annual winter retreat takes place at Folly Farm, just south of Bristol, which is a lovely place set in stunning countryside. It was so good to catch up with old friends and meet new people. 2018 has been a strange year for many of us and we were all in need of refreshing. In one session, we thought about letting go and moving on, which made me realise how very reluctant I am to let go of Storm Hound. It is such a special book to me.
However, a story really only comes to life when you share it, and I had a publishing meeting last week to discuss how we are going to launch Storm into the world next February. The response from reviewers so far has been amazing – thank you all!
Here is the final cover, with artwork by Becka Moor.
And here, because I am firmly on the side of cats in real life, is a snippet from the book, where Storm meets the cat next door. (The photo is of my cat, Penny, who celebrated her 19th birthday this year.)
Storm ran to the middle of the garden. Begone, foul enemy!
The cat didn’t move. A skinny tabby, fur thinning with age, she stared at him with faded green eyes. This is my territory, dog. Don’t go leaving your stink all over it.
Storm stopped still, not quite sure how to respond. The cats in Odin’s halls would never dare to come near a stormhound, never mind address one in that impertinent fashion. But in the world of humans he and this cat were about the same size – and the cat had the advantage of claws.
The cat hissed, a sound that seemed to be made up of malice and icy wind. Storm stood up straight, his shadow spreading to swallow the grass. I am Storm of Odin, stormhound of the Wild Hunt. How dare you speak to me like that?
The cat watched his shadow spread and started to clean behind one ear with her paw. Don’t bother me, stormhound. I’ve watched the Wild Hunt pass by in the dead of night. It doesn’t impress me. I am a cat – descended from gods. I don’t need to run in a pack and snap at lightning to feel important.
A happy festive season to all cat people and dog people, and every other sort of person too.