|Pamela and Edward|
Can you describe your book to us?
The book is a collection of essays on a wide variety of topics, but mostly centering on how taking notice of the seemingly insignificant bits of life can make the world turn in a more beautiful and meaningful way. I really wanted the book to be something beautifully made, something lovely to look at and delightful to hold in one’s hand and I’m thrilled to say that I think it turned out to be exactly that.
Where would we be ideally sitting reading your book?
Snuggled up in a four-poster bed on a rainy night or under a tree in an ancient forest would be ideal, I suppose. But I’m happy to think you could dip in and out of this book anywhere from the breakfast table to the train.
What made you decide to turn your blog into a book?
To be honest, it never occurred to me until I began getting letters requesting it. Those letters got more and more frequent so I decided to pull away from the novel I’m working on and make it happen. It was a lot more work than I expected but now that’s it’s done, I’m really glad I did it.
How did you choose what posts to be included – is there a theme?
The book is divided up into seasons, but I wouldn’t say there is a specific theme apart from the joy of discovering beauty in the quotidian parts of life. Of course there are stories about Edward, my big white dog, scattered throughout. He is a sweet and constant reminder of all that is good and after all, the book is named for him.
Will there be additional material for a long-term blog-reader to discover?
Actually, all of the pieces have been reworked a bit and there are a few new things as well. The editing process took much longer than I anticipated.
Describe where you like to write?
I have a big, fat chair in my library that is covered in a velvet floral that I love. I sit cross-legged in that chair with my laptop. The room is lined with books and a couple of favourite paintings. There is a hand-painted mirror on the wall by the door that I purchased at a tiny little shop in Paris years ago and carried home in my suitcase wrapped up in shawls and sweaters. There is a long window over the desk to my left that I like to leave open; I can’t see out of it from my chair so it’s not distracting, but I can hear the birds singing and the wind blowing. Edward is usually asleep at my feet.
What’s currently on your desk?
Far too much, at the moment. There’s a spool of antique velvet ribbon and a skein of blue-black wool. Several journals and a collection of favourite pens that, sadly, I keep losing. A framed photograph of Jacqueline Bouvier when she was a little girl. Something about her direct stare into the camera serves to remind me that we are born with our essential natures, we only embellish or strip away as we get older. Eyeglasses. My property tax bill... evil thing that it is. And a photograph of Shilasdair yarn shop on the Isle of Skye, the setting of which is, to me, pure heaven.
What gives you inspiration?
Just about everything, I’m afraid. The way a snowfall changes the light in the house. The individual personalities of trees. Wind. The colour of a perfect strawberry. The way grass feels on my bare feet. The rainbow of book spines on a library shelf. The Highlands of Scotland. Edward’s smile. Adele’s voice. Cinnamon. Wit. Really, inspiration is constant in my life.
If you could time-travel for a day, where would you go?
I was completely besotted with Elizabethan England when I was a little girl. To wander around Windsor Castle or Hampton Court on a day when the Queen herself was in residence would be amazing to me. And let’s not forget, Shakespeare would be around somewhere as well! If I were only there for one day, my chances of getting in serious trouble would be greatly diminished. I’ve read Wolf Hall... I know how precarious life was then!
Like me, you are a big fan of autumn / fall. What does this season mean to you?
Perhaps it’s because the summers are so sweltering where I live, but autumn signals the start of a new year for me each time it rolls around. I love everything about it - the fragrance of woodsmoke in the air, the brisk weather, the colours, the clothes, the food. It’s a very sensual season. And it doesn’t hurt that Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are celebrated during this time as well. Every day in autumn seems like a treat to me.
What are Edward and Apple doing right now?
Edward is asleep on the floor beneath my chair, with his head resting on my feet. Apple is in the window seat in the next room keeping a constant vigil for her nemesis, the dreaded squirrel. Upon spotting one, she will let out a yelp that will bring Edward running. That’s Apple’s job as she sees it. She’s the sentry, Edward’s the enforcer.
What song always makes you get up and dance around your kitchen?
Have you been peeking in my kitchen window?? My husband and I are serious kitchen dancers! Our last slow dance in the kitchen was to Because by the Dave Clark Five. I highly recommend that one. For fast dances, which both dogs join in on by the way, you really can’t beat Bruce Springsteen’s Cadillac Ranch. Oh, and Son of a Preacher Man by Dusty Springfield is especially good when you’re making soup.
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Fresh flowers, pedicures, great old country house hotels and coffee ice cream.
If you could be an artist, who would you be and why?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to paint! I’d probably choose Lord Frederick Leighton. I adore the romantic atmosphere of his paintings; I could stare at the folds of the lady’s green dress in The Painter’s Honeymoon for hours. And as a huge added plus, if I were Lord Leighton, I would get to live in that exquisite house of his in Holland Park.
If you could live inside a work of fiction, what book would you choose, and why?
It’s tempting to say Harry Potter, of course. To ride into town on a broom is outrageously irresistible. I’d love to work in Mulberry’s flower shop, like Miss Pym in Mrs. Dalloway. I’d spend my days looking out the window at that perfect London morning, surrounded by lilies and lilacs. Or living inside Swallows and Amazons would be delicious. And, if you could remove the crazy lady from the attic of Thornfield Hall, I’ve always thought Jane Eyre wouldn’t be bad. But I think I’d have to choose Mary Poppins. To live in long ago London with the sense of grand possibility that she provided would be wonderful. Imagine jumping into paintings!
Thank you so much, Pamela! I really enjoyed reading your answers.
|It's a book! A real book! Yay!|
From The House of Edward
Essays by Pamela Terry
Available now from Pamela's website: www.pamelaterry.net
Follow Pamela and Edward's adventures...
From The House of Edward