The Greenhouse Legacy – Published!

The Greenhouse Legacy is out there at last! The paperback is available to order from all bookshops as well as Amazon, where the eBook is on sale too. https://smarturl.it/ValKdTGL

Thank you to my writers’ circle, to my advance readers, to my dear friends and publishers Drew and Innes at Deadhand Publishing . Writing the novel was a slog and a joy. Proof reading by kind people took time as did asking a group of Advance readers for advice. And as I’ve written in a previous post, taking that advice. http://www.valeriebird.eu/leave-it-out-let-go/

Advertising my own work, though, is a lesson to learn . A group of people with whom I share an interest in culture of all sorts, offered to read and at a separate session allowed me to talk about how I wrote this novel, the motivation, the pitfalls, the pleasure. They gave me reviews which give me confidence to carry on talking about it!

I quoted E.L Doctorow Writers At Work: The Paris Review Interviews “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

I told them of how in 1988, prior to all thought of The Greenhouse Legacy, I found this postcard and become fascinated by the paintings of Ravilious.

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I bought a book by Freda Constable, The England of Eric Ravilious in which many of his paintings were displayed. Several of them became the focus for my work on a final dissertation for my BA degree.

Through using a range of Ravilious’ paintings I wrote a novella, a story of a brother and sister locked in a supportive and possibly incestuous relationship; ‘An Exploration of the Poetic and Narrative Inspiration drawn from the Paintings of Eric Ravilious’. An analysis of the novella through the ages as well as analysis of the writing of my own novella.

My research took me to Tate Britain where on request they showed me ‘The Greenhouse: Cyclamen and Tomatoes’. All these years later it surprises me that I had to courage to do such a thing, and even more that I somehow contacted his daughter as she owned many of his other paintings. Anne Ullman kindly invited me to Birmingham where she lives, to see those works. I sent her a copy of my dissertatIon. This was in 1989.

All these years later, in 2020, I wrote to her again, having finished The Greenhouse Legacy, and a few days ago I sent her the final published version.

In another act to this story, I heard and read that, at last, the work of Eric Ravilious, who became a war artist and was killed in an airplane crash in 1942, is to receive the recognition it should have done at the time. Supported and promoted by artists such as Ai Weiwei and Grayson Perry, a documentary has been made, ‘Eric Ravilious – Drawn to War’, released on 1 July 2022. It not only tells of his work but the poignant relationship between himself and his wife, an artist in her own right, Tirzah Garwood, showing their work and lives. Part of the story is told by their daughter, Anne Ullman, and their granddaughter. Ella Ravilious.

http://foxtrotfilms.com/films/eric-ravilious-drawn-to-war/

Finally I read Ann Ullman’s edited publication of her mother, Tirzah Garwood, diaries – https://persephonebooks.co.uk/products/long-live-great-bardfield

‘The Greenhouse Legacy’ lives in it’s own right, one piece of art having inspired another. Elspeth, Gina, George and Ivan, and all the characters who come alive in their story, came out of that image, that haunting image, and I can leave them their for you to find and I hope find pleasure in reading their story.

Check out https://smarturl.it/ValKdTGL for details of the new book.

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