After a decade trying to accept that London is home, a devastating bereavement pushes 29 year old May to return to the rural Vermont town she fled so long ago.
Ignoring her sister’s strong misgivings, she immerses herself in creating a healing garden, bringing people together with the food she loves to cook, and renovating a dilapidated farmhouse until she starts to find a sense of peace and purpose. But as spring turns to sultry summer and she is thrown increasingly together with Harley, the man she loved and left ten years before, May is torn. Will she take a risk and follow her heart, or go back to London where her ever loyal sister is longing for her return?
Ten Things About Me
1. I write everything longhand in a lined notebook, before typing it up every few days. I have shelves full of notebooks used and unused and I’m definitely a pen kleptomaniac– if you can’t find your pen I’m sorry, but I probably put it somewhere, so that I never run out!
2. I used to wonder if the only way I could be a writer was by doing an MA in creative writing, until my writing mentor – a creative writing MA – showed me the way to be a writer is to write, write, write and read, read, read. Writing is a craft, and the more you practice any craft the better you become.
3. One of the best pieces of writing advice I received: if you’re lost and drifting, write the final scene. It was just what I needed and gave me the focus to keep going. It may not end up in the final draft the way you write it now but can really help to get you there.
4. When I’m in the planning stage of a new book, I put together a mood board. I gather photos and images, sketch location maps (rather badly) and draw floor plans of characters’ homes; all this in a very jumbled and disorganized way, but it really helps me to visualize things like where the sun rises and sets and the different ways a house could be approached by another character, for example.
5. Remember that what works for one writer may not work for you. Any advice you get is really just someone telling you what worked for them; it isn’t the holy grail, so take it lightly for the suggestion it is. You will find out, as long as you keep writing.
6. I still attend the same writing group that I joined before I’d ever completed a novel. It gives me a goal, keeps me accountable, and the feedback I get is invaluable. Aside from that they’re wonderful people and I love seeing them!
7. All the parents I’ve ever had in my life have been married more than twice, so when I met my beloved when I was 24 it never occurred to me that we’d be together 30 years later. I was about to leave the country to take up a job in Charleston, South Carolina, he was about to leave for a job in Swaziland. We both changed our plans and I’ve never regretted it. I sometimes wonder how my life would have turned out if I’d gone, and I suppose it’s that kind of thinking that creates story. What if?
8. I used to be a Montessori nursery teacher, until I got sick and retrained as a therapist. I think it’s harder and harder for writers to make a living from writing alone, and it was never easy, so I feel very lucky that I love my work as a therapist.
9. My dad was a landscape painter and I got my love of the natural world from him. One of the last things we ever did together was walk among trees and I still love to walk in broad leaf woods and feel him close to me.
10. One of my greatest pleasures is to gather people around my table and cook for them. There must be music and if there is a garden full of roses in the near vicinity, then all the better. And as long as there’s the promise of some time alone on the horizon, I couldn’t be happier.
Thank you, Mish Cromer and Random Things Tours
About the Author
MISH CROMER is a writer and person-centred therapist from London. Drawing on her cultural heritage of Greece and the USA, she writes novels about the complexities of family, with a focus on women’s narratives and the meaning of home.
She has a BA(Hons) in English Literature from the University of North London and worked as a
Montessori teacher before training as a therapist. Her first novel, Alabama Chrome, was published in 2020. She has three children and lives in London with her husband.