Summary from Goodreads
‘You’re telling me there are fairies in this wood?’
When Alice’s brother gets a longed-for chance for a heart transplant, Alice is suddenly bundled off to her estranged grandmother’s house. There’s nothing good about staying with Nell, except for the beautiful Darkling Wood at the end of her garden – but Nell wants to have it cut down. Alice feels at home there, at peace, and even finds a friend, Flo. But Flo doesn’t seem to go to the local school and no one in town has heard of a girl with that name. When Flo shows Alice the surprising secrets of Darkling Wood, Alice starts to wonder, what is real? And can she find out in time to save the wood from destruction?
10 Random Things About In Darkling Wood
1. I LOVE the word ‘darkling’ and was determined to use it in a story one day, which is why the house and woods have this name.
2. A friend of mine’s nephew had a heart transplant last year. His story inspired Theo’s.
3. I stood in woods in the middle of the night for research. (NB: It’s very odd!)
4. My dog Bert really does take woolly hats off your head: this is why Borage does the same.
5. My brother, who I miss very much, lives in Australia. There are elements of this in how both Alice and the girl in 1918 feel about their respective brothers.
6. The Cottingley Fairies story has intrigued me for a very long time. Yet when the idea for IDW came, it was a real STOP EVERYTHING I HAVE TO WRITE THIS BOOK NOW moment- which I couldn’t do because I’d just started the first draft of The Girl Who walked On Air.
7. If you google ‘fairy doors’ what comes up are pictures of those rather naff tiny doors at the base of trees. This is NOT a real fairy door. Interestingly, I could not find a single picture of a proper fairy door on the internet. Maybe the fairies want to keep it secret…
8. It took about 6 months to write the first draft of IDW, which is quite fast for me. The editing process took longer this time, probably because of the dual narrative.
9. IDW is the first book of mine to be set outside of the Nineteenth century. I was pretty scared about getting Alice right; the 1918 girl did
feel like more familiar ground, though I had to research early C20th phrases for her to use.
10. Where I live in Somerset, plenty of people still believe in fairies and nature spirits. My favourite phrase is ‘pixy-led’, meaning getting lost or disorientated.