A life fractured into parallel worlds. A quiet magic to accept or ignore. A decision to make.
Escape from difficult family dynamics is teenager Rainbow’s desire. When she discovers a strange gift for communicating with trees, she thinks she’s found her salvation. Even better, a mysterious but gentle man living in her Dorset village helps develop her powers.
But when tragedy strikes, Rainbow’s life is torn apart, creating parallel worlds in the process. In one life, the vulnerable Rainbow strives to salvage her family. In the other, her alter-ego, Mary, flees her past. Over the next few years the two versions of Rainbow follow very different lives. The source of their grief, however, is the same – a confession buried deep within their memories.
Could France offer more than a mere escape? As the two worlds draw closer and memories resurface, Rainbow and Mary’s futures must be determined. Can they receive the healing they need? Or will the renewed pain be too much to bear? Only by risking their lives will they know.
1. Do you always take a book/e-reader wherever you go?
Of course! I don’t own a smartphone so I read while I’m waiting for appointments / my kids etc. I always have a book on the go. I feel bereft if I find myself bookless.
2. Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?
It would be cool to be a brave heroine – but unlikely. One of my friends wrote a book featuring a character with my name. The character was fanatically tidy, which I think made her a baddie…
3. Where can I find you when you are reading?
In my rocking chair or a hammock if it’s summer. In the winter I read in front of my fire. I don’t read in bed because I have contact lenses and when I take them out I’m practically blind.
4. Where can I find you when you are not writing/reading?
Ooh, I like the way this question follows the previous one. My favourite place is on my bike, anywhere in the countryside, preferably lost and discovering new places.
5. Can you walk past a bookstore without going inside?
Ha ha! You know the answer to that. It’s the same for any avid reader or writer.
6. What are you most proud of?
My daughters, who are 17 and 20: They’re such fun. I’d really like to be their friend so I could go to their parties with them.
7. What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?
First it’s a wow when the cover is as amazing as the ones for the Tree Magic series. Then I get a kind of dread that the story inside isn’t good enough for the cover. And then there’s amazement at the weight of words, how something that comes from your imagination can physically exist.
8. What piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?
I’m sure aspiring writers have read all the tips about writing. I guess mine is to keep your writing authentic, keep it coming from inside you. There are so many do’s and don’ts that I fear some writers risk losing what’s most magical: their own particular way of writing.
9. Who would you like/have liked to interview?
I love interviewing ordinary people. I was a magazine feature writer for a while, and my favourite part was finding the unique story everyone has inside them. I love that moment when you’re chatting and suddenly you know you’ve got past the superficial and into the heart of what matters to the person.
10. When and where do you prefer to write?
I’m a morning person and I find that if I write before I do anything else in the day, it puts me in a good mood and I can bear any drudgery that I have to face. I have a laptop so I can go and write wherever I feel inspired. I love writing in cafés but actually I normally just sit in my little office at home.
Thank you, Harriet Springbett and Love Books Group
About the author
Harriet Springbett’s childhood on a small farm in West Dorset gave her an early exposure to nature, which continues to inspire her writing.
She qualified as an engineer but, during a Raleigh International expedition in Chile, she realised she preferred words to numbers. She abandoned her profession, moved to France, studied French and then worked as a project manager, feature writer, translator and TEFL teacher. She now lives in Poitou-Charentes with her French partner and their teenage children.
Since her first literary success, aged 10, her short stories and poetry have been published in literary journals and placed in writing competitions, including a shortlisting in the 2017 Bath Short Story Award.
Harriet leads writing workshops, has judged the Segora international short story competition.