April in the Ribble Valley – where else would you choose to be? The daffodils may have finished, but the display of white and pink blossom is such a pretty and uplifting sign of spring.
I spotted David Richards in Clitheroe yesterday. He was emerging from Clitheroe Books on Moor Lane, two slim volumes in his hand. It was a sunny afternoon, the castle framed against a blue sky. It isn’t Easter just yet, but there was a holiday feel as everyone enjoyed the mild weather after a cold spell. David was with his wife, Helen. He handed her the books and she rolled her eyes at him as she placed them in her bag. They were joking with each other, teasing, I could tell they have survived the anguish that almost forced them apart last year, split their marriage, which seemed impenetrable after 30 years together.
Helen looked relaxed and happy, her arm through his, the bag in her other hand from one of the smart dress shops. Then I remembered – their daughter, Lizzie, is marrying her fiancée very soon. Pete’s a lovely guy and they’ll make a very handsome couple. Surely this family are now over their troubles? After all, they have everything to look forward to.
I often see my characters in familiar places. The paragraph above is fictional, yet it is as clear in my head as if it were real. The scene is at the beginning of Walking Alone, a sequel to Walking Apart. The novel is work in progress, but it is a delight to continue the story of David and Helen and although I think I know what is going to happen, you can never be completely sure, and that’s the excitement of the writing process.
With a fair wind, Walking Alone should be ready for publication at the end of this year.