One of the elements of the new novel, The Madness of Sara Mansfield, that’s important to me is the nature writing. Although this sci-fi trilogy nods towards dystopia, there’s also hope, and for me, the potential for new dreams always flows from nature.
After wars, or in derelict places, wild plants grow, reclaiming the space, rejoicing in their fecundity. Nature knows how to heal the scars of our making. I think this is why I find books like McCarthy’s The Road too depressing – I don’t believe we’ll wipe nature out, I actually don’t believe we’ll wipe ourselves out.
We’re clearly in a huge learning phase as a species, and there’s many tough lessons ahead, but ultimately I have faith that the Earth will guide us in the right direction.
Anyway! I decided to only write about landscapes I’d visited in the book, with a sprinkle of poetic licence where needed for the narrative of course.
On Crete, we meet Rhiannon & Geraint, two characters I originally discovered in the Mabinogion some years before and so their story evolved into a blend of Welsh myth and Cretian landscapes.
Crete’s a magical place of Minoan history, overflowing with the stories of endless beautiful plants. It was here I first discovered wild Iris and all the connections she encouraged me to make.
Photo of Cretian moonrise taken by @andyrgarside March 2019.