When choosing a setting for your book, it’s really important to find one that fits with your purpose.
When I was deciding on where exactly I’d set the Meadowbank books, I knew I wanted a library in there somewhere. Somewhere shy, quiet and bookish Elsie could spend her time and of course there’d be a cast of eccentric villagers to support her. Inevitably, there had to be a bad guy too and as I hadn’t written an enemies to lovers story before, it stood to reason that her enemy would be trying to destroy the library and Elsie would have to fight to save it.
We all know that lots of libraries are closing down, especially in small villages. Even though it’s a statutory requirement that council’s provide them, they’re having to find ways to save money and often, libraries are the first to go. They don’t always go completely. Some council’s find ways of combining the services with other things and this can work, but something has to give and the small, village library is most under threat.
But I really wanted to tap into why people use libraries for more than just borrowing books. If you’re looking to connect with people it’s generally because you’re lonely, or alone and want that human connection. In many ways, it was great to step away from the crazy online world of social media and get back to looking at actual people rather than avatars.
I wanted Elsie’s library to be a focal point of the community because I know how much community is at the heart of most libraries. When I worked at The Beaney in Canterbury, Kent, which is a museum combined with a library (I worked in the museum part and it was awesome!) community was at our heart. Knit and natter groups, baby rhyme times, all sorts of activities were underway everyday to engage people and give them somewhere to go, often free of charge, to connect with others.
And that’s what really brought The Little Library on Cherry Lane to life! It was so much fun to write and I really hope you enjoy it too!
Sign up to my mailing list and I’ll be sharing an exclusive excerpt from The Little Library on Cherry Lane on 1st March. You’ll also get a FREE short story straight away as a thank you!