The Inspiration for The Daughter Of River Valley

The Daughter of River Valley is the third novel of my Cornish Tales series, which are all stand-alone novels, linked by family ties. It tells the story of Beth Jago, a spirited, independent heroine who lives alone in an idyllic Cornish valley. This simple way of life, and a home she can call her own, is all Beth has ever wanted, so why is she starting to receive threats and finds an intruder in her home?

One frying pan to the head and she robs the stranger of his identity. Should she leave him to die or nurse him back to health? His good looks and vulnerability may help her to decide … or will Beth take on more than she bargained for?

The Daughter of River Valley was inspired by two events in my life. As a teenager, I briefly lost my memory (and vision) as a result of a head injury. Thank goodness they both returned very quickly, but the memory of this surreal experience stayed with me. The hero suffers from a longer period of amnesia than I did. He cannot remember who he is and, more disturbingly, if he is as dangerous as his nightmares suggest. It makes him both frustrated and vulnerable, which was enjoyable to write.

The second event was a visit to Rocky Valley in Cornwall. I based River Valley on this beautiful part of the North Cornish Coast. It is owned by the National Trust and I have been a regular visitor ever since. Although I have changed parts of the valley and added a myth or two, it does have both a tree, where visitors hang their tokens and ribbons, and a river which carves a path out to sea.

So if you want to escape reality, you could always visit Beth Jago’s River Valley. It is the only place she feels at home and she will do anything to protect it … as her unexpected visitor soon finds out.

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