Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Guest Post & Giveaway - Why Cornwall? by Liz Fenwick - Cornish Week

 Why Cornwall? It is a question I’m asked frequently because, well, I’m not Cornish, not even British. In truth Cornwall didn’t come in to my life until I was twenty-six and my then boyfriend, now husband, took me too to meet his parents who lived there. I thought I was being subjected to the parent test, but, in truth, it was the Cornwall test. Did I pass? Yes, with flying colours, as I fell in love with the Duchy. My first trip was a glorious June weekend when the sky was eye achingly blue and the hedgerows filled with foxgloves. The only thing that didn't enchant me on that first visit in 1989 was the temperature of the sea. It was arctic. It was a total shock to me. I had spent my summers on the south side of Cape Cod where the summer sea temperature about 70 degrees Fahrenheit!

There is something raw and untamed about Cornwall that speaks to those susceptible to the possibilities of the past and its magic. Crossing the Tamar River is often spoken about and it is something I have experienced whether on a train or in car. I must confess it is much more special on Brunel’s beautiful bridge than in a packed car on the A30. As soon as that threshold has been traversed the air feels different. The civility of the Devon slips away and the power of the land marked by wild seas, bleak moors, jaw dropping cliffs and gentle hidden valley draws you in.

When I'm in the Duchy I find myself ‘seeing’ stories in the landscape and catching glimpse of tantalizing ideas set in the backdrop of the countryside. A perfect example of how this happened was with the setting for A Cornish Stranger. For years I’d walked Frenchman’s Creek and we frequently took our boat up the Creek in an evening when the tides are right to enjoy a glass of wine and the peace of the setting. At the mouth of the creek almost hidden behind the pines that mark the entrance sits a wooden cabin. You can only see from the water and it remained lodged in my mind until another tidbit came my way. While researching another book I found an old Cornish saying…save a stranger from the see, he’ll turn you enemy. Ping went my brain. Story ideas collide and I knew then I wanted to tell the story of a grandmother and granddaughter both hiding away from the world for different reasons.

I know other writers find their inspiration from other parts of the world but for me Cornwall unlocked my muse and continually feeds the creative well. It could be because I can't be in Cornwall all the time and writing about was a way to keep me there…at least in my mind.

Thank you so much to Liz Fenwick for taking time out of her busy schedule, to contribute to my Cornish Week.  I'm impressed that Cornwall, our wonderful tourist destination, can not only inspire British authors, but non British authors too.

Giveaway to win a PB copy of The Cornish Stranger by Liz Fenwick (open internationally)
Liz Fenwick  has kindly offered readers of Rachel's Random Reads a chance to win a paperback copy of The Cornish Stranger as part of Cornish Week

Giveaway open to everyone, all options are voluntary, but please do what they ask, as I will be verifying the winner. Giveaway closes 23:59 26/8/2015. Winner will be announced on twitter and emailed, and they will need to reply within 7 days, or forfeit the prize, and I will re-draw for a new winner.  Good luck everyone.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Bio

Writer, ex-pat expert, wife, mother of three, and dreamer turned doer....

Award winning author of The Cornish House, A Cornish Affair, A Cornish Stranger and Under A Cornish Sky. After nine international moves, I'm a bit of a global nomad. It's no wonder my heart remains in Cornwall while I'm forever on a plane. I can be found tweeting from 36,000 feet or enjoying the sunshine in Dubai while wrangling my manuscript and my cat..

I'm currently researching my next book - The Returning Tide due in 2016.

You can follow Liz on Twitter


  1. Lovely post, ladies. I must admit Liz has me a little bit hooked on Cornwall too (the scenery and the heroes ;) ). xx

  2. It's hard to shake Cornwall off once it's in your blood. I loved 'A Cornish Stranger' and it was signed by Liz at a delightful bookshop in Penzance!
    Angela Britnell

  3. Great post, I love reading about Cornwall and A Cornish Stranger is one of my favourites!


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