First I need to link back to the person who presented it to me. Done. Then, I need to think of a word or phrase for each of the 26 letters of the alphabet which is in some way relevant to me. Finally, I'll need to select a few others to pass this award onto.
So, without further delay, here goes:
A = Avebury. One of my favourite ancient stone circles
B = Balmy summer days spent down by the river here in North Wales
C = Cornwall. I love the richness of its history, the wildness of Bodmin Moor and the magical atmosphere
D = Dreaming, Not Sleeping by Julia Kavan. So delighted that this brilliant short story by this gifted author has just been re-released. And what a cover too! Coincidentally, it also stands for Diavolino by another of my favourite authors - Steve Emmett. Don't miss either of these great stories.
E = Elwy. As in River Elwy. My local river with a multiple personality. In summer, it ambles along like a lazy stream. But just now its dander is up and it is rushing headlong as if it's late for some vital appointment - and in rather a bad temper about something.
F = Father Ted. Bought my husband the boxed set for Christmas. Hilarious, even after all these years.
G = Ghost stories.Especially those by M.R. James. Spooky, scary and great for triggering the imagination. And no contrived and twee happy endings either!
H = Horror. Well, of course!
I = Italy. And this year we'll be visiting Pompeii, Herculaneum and all the other important sites in the area for the first time. Can't wait!
J = June - my second favourite month (May being the first). I love the newness, freshness and sense of life beginning.
K = King. As in Stephen. Master storyteller.
L = Linden Manor. OK, I know, But a bit of self-marketing is allowed, isn't it? My new Gothic horror novella will be published by Samhain in e-formats on May 6th and then in print format - as part of the 'What Waits In The Shadows' anthology - in October.
M = Mimi, my tortoiseshell cat who recently celebrated her 18th birthday and likes to keep her humans on their toes.
N = New books. I love the smell of them, the feel of them and being in a bookshop, surrounded by them
O = Orkney. Situated across the wild and unpredictable Pentland Firth, these remote islands are magical and inspirational
P = Pendle Forest - a forest without trees, set in rural Lancashire. Pendle Hill broods over the surrounding countryside where the weather can be fierce and raw and where, in the early 17th century, a group of men and women were accused of witchcraft, tried at Lancaster, and then hanged. The conduct of the trial influenced greatly the way the witches of Salem were subsequently treated.
Q = Quirky people, and quince jam
R = Richard Hawley. He is fantastic in concert. Nearly raises the roof off the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall every time he performs there
S = Stromness, in Orkney. I love this little town with its narrow streets and timelessness
T = Tales of the Unexpected. I used to love this TV series
U = Underground Edinburgh, especially the spooky and fascinating Real Mary King's Close
V = Vino. Especially a good red.
W = Witches. Fascinating and source of so much inspiration for my stories.Of course, most witches are simply wise folk who know their way around herbs, plants and the natural order of life. They have an affinity with the spirituality they see and feel all around them and know how to tap into it, to do good.
X = Xxxx it! I can't think of an appropriate word. X-rays? I don't think so!
Y = Yesteryear. OK, I mean history but I was stuck for a 'Y'!
Z = Zelig. The Woody Allen film
OK. Now I need to link to some other lucky recipients:
Happy New Year!