On the ninth day of Christmas my publishers, Choc Lit, and National Express are giving away … my short story Touch Wood together with my hero’s easy recipe for delicious hot chocolate. Click on the link here and enter the code SHORT and you can download both for free.
The idea for Touch Wood, came from my cuttings file which, like my notebooks, contains photos and articles which speak to me in some way. An article about a craftswoman working with green oak had a particular pull, maybe because it brought back vivid childhood memories. My dad was a carpenter and joiner, although his area of expertise was not green oak but bespoke oak staircases and lantern lights. Oak’s a very costly material so there was a lot of tip-toeing around when Dad was setting out a staircase. ‘Measure twice, cut once’ was his maxim, because you really don’t want to do it the other way round!
What if, I wondered, my heroine was an instructor, teaching the craft of green woodworking? Another photo in the file caught my eye… and one of her pupils was a musician, a man more used to being listened to rather than listening? A superstition about shoes kept coming to mind and the obvious one about touching wood … and then I started to write.