The churchyard setting was inspired by the view from the side of my house.
|It's the shadow of a post and rail fence, not an enormous ladder propped against my house. In case you were wondering.|
The setting of Great Leys is based on Stokesley, about 30 miles north of where I live.
There is a strong theme of sibling affection running through the book. Winter is an identical twin, separated from her sister Daisy by a lot of miles. Daisy, you see, lives in Australia, and Winter struggles with the distance between them. I, too, have a sibling, however we are not twins, nor are we identical, on account of him being nearly bald.
In the book, Scarlet gets a guinea pig called Bobso. We had, during the children's growing up years, many many guinea pigs. My eldest daughter was quite a dab hand at sexing them, but even she would occasionally get it wrong and we ended up with about twenty at one point. But, on the plus side, I didn't need a lawn mower. Or a burglar alarm, because if anyone approached within twenty feet of their enormous run, they would all set to squeaking like tiny little cars being broken into.