I had never considered doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) before, but in 2012 I got caught up in my writing friends’ excitement and decided to pick up an idea I’d had a while ago…and ‘Beneath the Old Oak’ was revived.
After writing ‘Beneath the Rainbow’, I wanted to find a new writing project and recalled a poem that my mother-in-law had written many years ago (see below, but be warned it does contain spoilers) and it inspired me to write about the old oak tree.
I wanted to write about the things a huge, ancient tree sees within its life span, but wasn’t sure whether to write as the tree or not. I decided not to, so I needed a protagonist. My first notions stirred recalling a character from Beneath the Rainbow, and I decided to write Meg’s story*.
* Meg’s character is from ‘Beneath the Rainbow’ so, ‘Beneath the Old Oak’ became a companion book, though each book in the Hope Within series can be read as stand alone stories.
“Meg’s mother is anxious, depressed and neglectful. Meg thinks her mum is broken and wonders if she’ll be next, or is she already broken too? Meg wants to escape, but her mum beats her to it. Solace is found in a huge, old oak tree and Meg begins to learn to grow…”
Meg is damaged and the tree offers not only solace, but its experience…
I drew on many of my own life experiences to write for Meg and her mother, and I fit deftly into both characters at times. I suffer chronic clinical depression and have had an anxiety/panic disorder since I was fourteen. Though It’s important to point out this is an entire work of fiction.
My first NaNo teaser is here…
I worked again with Blue Harvest Creative to create a lovely cover and beautifully formatted interior
Beneath the Old Oak was released on 4th November 2014.
See below for stockists.
Beneath the Old Oak:
“Turn those dreams of escape into hope…”
Meg thinks her mother is broken. Is she broken too?
Meg’s life spirals out of control, and when she mirrors her mother’s erratic behaviour she’s terrified she’ll inherit her sins.
Seeking refuge and escape she finds solace beneath a huge, old oak. Life seems as transient as leaves upon the tree and as the seasons change the timeworn oak shares its treasured memories with her.
Meg wants to run away, but a devastating storm will change her life forever.
‘Beneath the Old Oak’ can be bought in print or eBook from Amazon:
Here’s my mother-in-law’s beautiful poem that offered inspiration for this book: