By Leslie Lindsay
A gentle, cozy, tender read about ‘autumn’ friendships in the English countryside.
INDIAN SUMMER is Willet’s sixteenth book to be published in the U.S. and it’s almost exactly what I needed as I settled into a busy new school year with two active kiddos. Grab a spot of tea, this is a story you’ll want to settle in for; and it’s a fast read so you might need only one ‘warm up.’
Sir Mungo is a retired actor living in his family’s cottage in rural Devon. It’s summer and friends and family flock to the parcel of land to join in camaraderie, seek advice and solace. James is a self-published author working on something new, Kit an interior decorator who is tired of being the ‘expert’ in the room, but there are others, too and all bring a colorful array of antics, needs and loyalties to the gathering.
INDIAN SUMMER is a subtle, relaxing read with the undercurrent of secrets and old memories chipping at the surface. Willett’s strength lies in the setting: a bucolic trip through Devon’s countryside.
I’m honored to welcome Marcia Willett to the blog couch to chat about writing, INDIAN SUMMER, friendships and pets.
Leslie Lindsay: Marcia, it’s lovely to have you. Thank you for popping over. I really love the Devon setting. I understand it’s also home for you. Can you talk with us a bit about your charming little town and if it’s challenging to set a story there?
Marcia Willett: From the very first book this beautiful, magical west country, Devon and Cornwall especially, has played a major part. It’s really the main character. Small market towns, fishing villages, long sandy beaches and little coves, high moorland: what’s not to like?
L.L.: Much of INDIAN SUMMER is about memories and also friendship, how do these two themes play off of one another for the characters in this story
Marcia Willett: It’s always good when characters reappear unexpectedly from previous books so I was delighted when Kit Chadwick turned up with all her past which included Mungo. So exciting for me to watch it all play out in the present! Then when Jake reappeared, too, I knew it was going to be full of drama!!
L.L.: Like many of your characters, you are also in the ‘autumn years’ of you life. In fact, your first book was written rather reluctantly at the age of fifty at the suggestion of your writer husband. Clearly, he was on to something! You have written—how many books—twenty six?! How do you keep up with the relentless pace? What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Marcia Willett: I think that one of my advantages was that I had no desire to be an aspiring writer. An avid reader, yes. But not a writer. When, because of a financial crisis, I reluctantly decided to give it a go, I discovered, as I walked the moors and the cliffs with my dogs, that the characters and my alternative universe were all waiting for me. They come and tell me their stories, they decide the location, I simply write it all down. So far, they haven’t failed me. The stories are there waiting to be told.
L.L.: I have to say, I loved the animals in INDIAN SUMMER. I’m an animal lover, anyway, but Sammy and Boz, Bozzy and Sam! Can you share their inspiration? Do you have animals yourself?
Marcia Willett: I don’t have a dog at the moment but I love them. Whereas the characters are always new to me the dogs are very familiar and I feel I’ve known them always.
L.L.: What do you hope others get from reading your books?
Marcia Willett: Escapism, amusement, hope, a sense of identity.
L.L.: I always feel as if September is a good time to settle in, clear the slate, and gear up. What’s on your to-do list this fall? It doesn’t have to be literary.
Marcia Willett: Oh, but it will be! The copy editing for the book to be published next year has just arrived! And a new story is beginning to beckon . . . I need to go and find my people in their own environment: to note the flora and fauna, what they see and hear, where they walk their dogs – the beaches and the moors – where they go for coffee, which pubs they use. Sigh. Research is so exhausting!!
L.L.: Marcia, it’s been a pleasure. Is there anything I forgot to ask?
Marcia Willett: I can’t think of anything. Thank you so much for having me on your blog sofa, Leslie. It’s been great fun.
For more information, to connect with Marcia via social media, or to purchase your own copy of INDIAN SUMMER, please visit:
- Twitter: @marciawillett
- Barnes & Noble
You can connect with me, Leslie Lindsay, via these platforms:
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[Cover and author image courtesy of SMP and used with permission. ‘Lands End,’ Cornwall retrieved from Wikipedia, woman walking dog on moor retrieved from http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk, The Seven Tuns Country Pub retrieved from The Telegraph, all on 9.2.17
… Marcia Willett hat selbst diese positive Ausstrahlung, die ich in allen ihren Büchern spüre und dieses Interview unterstreicht diese Wahrnehmung. Gut gemacht von Leslie!