The inspiration behind Summer in a Cornish Cove – Kate Ryder

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By Kate Ryder

My love affair with Cornwall started many years ago when my parents would take their young family on holiday to the county.

The sea, the rugged cliffs, the bleak yet beautiful moors, the flora and fauna, the black haired/dark-eyed locals with their distinctive accent, the myths and legends – all these held a fascination for me and later, during my teenage years, at any given opportunity I would head west.

It seemed a magical, faraway land, which, in those days, it was.  Road improvements during the intervening years have helped lessen the distance between the Home Counties and England’s south western most county, bordered in the east by the River Tamar.  Cornwall has the longest stretch of coastline in England, boasting over 300 golden beaches, and thanks to its isolated position on the South West coast much of it has remained untouched for centuries.

They say that once you’ve felt the magic of Cornwall, its invisible ivy will forever hold you in its grasp.  It’s true.  Cornwall has always had a magnetic pull for me.  I am one of those rare people who have an enduring love affair with Cornish mizzle – the thicker and more atmospheric, the better!

For a few years, during the late 1980s, I flirted briefly with living and working in the county but it wasn’t until the start of the Millennium that my husband and I finally swapped the South East of England for the Cornish side of the beautiful Tamar Valley and set about renovating a 200-year-old sawmill.  Today, we enjoy living in that, now, totally renovated home in a charming little village located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Cornwall is a land of many faces – from the undulating, relatively soft, Devon-like landscape in the east, to the ruggedly remote area steeped in legend that is West Penwith.  The industrial revolution had a huge impact on the county and at that time it was amongst the most industrialised part of the UK, if not the world.  Littered throughout the landscape are haunting reminders of its past industry, often set against a dramatic backdrop of pounding seas against high craggy cliffs.

The stunningly rugged landscape of the Lizard Peninsula always whispered to me and I have spent many a happy hour exploring the area.  It feels wild and free-spirited, an offshoot, separate from mainland Cornwall, and its inhabitants possessively claim it to be almost an island.  On clear days you can see for miles along the south coast – in one direction towards Plymouth; the other towards Gwennap Head and beyond.

It’s easy to lose yourself on the Lizard.  It can be tough and unforgiving, yet also beautiful and tranquil; fragile and yet incredibly resilient.  Complex… just like the characters in my book.  That is why I chose it as the location for the novel.

Kate Ryder has worked in a number of industries including publishing, mainly as a proof-reader/copy editor and writer for a national newspaper, magazines and publishing houses. A member of the New Writers Scheme with the Romantic Novelists Association, in 2013 she published her debut novel, The Forgotten Promise, a timeslip romance and mysterious ghost story, which was shortlisted for Choc Lit’s 2016 ‘Search for a Star’. Kate lives in a renovated 200-year-old sawmill in the beautiful Tamar Valley with her husband and a collection of animals.

1 Comment

  1. Kate

    April 18, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Thank you, Jane, for being part of the blog tour for Summer in a Cornish Cove (just wish the publishers had sent you a nicer photo of the author!) 😉

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