Hi, I’m Sophie Angmering and as I am writing this, I’m slowly gearing myself up for Christmas 2012. I adore this time of year; I love the build up to the festive season probably more than the actual day itself if I am truthful, because the day itself is usually pretty busy with a lot of cooking and logistical activity. I love the ritual of decorations, holly, ivy, lights and what feels like a celebration of something older than our traditional Christmas. It is a sense of this that inspired me to write the novella “Maggie’s Solstice” as part of the Oberon’s Court collection due to be released by Total-E-Bound on 17th December 2012, just four days before winter solstice day.
I actually wrote the outline of the story at about this time last year without thinking I would ever use it simply because I liked the idea so much I did not want to forget it. Something that seems to happen to me more and more with my advancing years! The short gloomy days and long nights make everything seem a little closer to nature. As soon as the clocks go back and the nights start drawing in, anything outside my cosy house seem far scarier than during the summer months! Another inspiration was the way the Sussex countryside looks at this time of year. We are just at the point where the November winds have cleared most of the leaves from the trees and the South of England’s South Downs National Park (the newest National Park in the UK no less!) is looking less hospitable than it does when lush and green.
Part of our local legends include one about a nearby ancient pre-bronze age fort called Chanctonbury Ring, rumoured to have been created by the Devil himself and that he can be summoned by running around the clump of trees there seven times anti-clockwise. When he appears he will offer you a bowl of soup in exchange for your soul. The Ring is also rumoured to increase fertility in women who sleep underneath the trees for one night. Items commonly found in and around these areas include flint arrowheads, which in times gone by were thought to have been the arrowheads used by fairies or other supernatural beings. Another story tells us that Cissbury Ring (strangely enough these two fort sites are so close together you can walk from one of these to the other in 30 minutes) was formed when the Devil tried to dig a hole in the South Downs to allow the sea to flood the Sussex Weald and all its churches. As the devil dug out Devil’s Dyke, which is also close by, clods of earth fell to the ground forming Cissbury Ring, Chanctonbury Ring and two other local hills Rackham and Mount Caburn. It was obviously all go in our neck of the woods in ancient times! As a result of this and a few other Sussex tales, my winter fae of the Unseelie Court are most definitely local!
Then we have my heroine Maggie Short. Maggie is a character very close to my heart; she’s a person more at home in the practical world of business and IT than anywhere else. She has very little time for things like astrology or the supernatural and certainly does not believe in anything like fairies. Which is one of the reasons why Maggie is about to get something of a shock over the course of the story! In the summer we are due back to visit the sexy summer fae of Titania’s Court, so let’s hope the weather is going to be hot for June 2013.
“Maggie’s Solstice” is available from Total-E-Bound at www.total-e-bound.com on the 17th December 2012 and is available for pre-order now. The book link is http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=1900.
If you want to read more about my books and what I am up to at the moment, you can go to www.sophieangmering.co.uk and my author page on the Total-E-Bound website