Sources of inspiration for anyone involved in the creative process are numerous and often eclectic: the shape of a jam jar, the shipping forecast, handwriting on an envelope, an old boat. Naturally enough, the most powerful influence for me has been the work of other writers.

Some books I have loved:

China Court Rumer Godden
Far from the Madding Crowd Thomas Hardy
The Poet’s Wife Judith Allnatt
The Alexandrian Quartet Lawrence Durrell
God of Small Things Arundhati Roy
To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
Sons and Lovers D H Lawrence
Moon Tiger Penelope Lively
The End of the Affair Graham Greene
Cry the Beloved Country Alan Paton
Testament of Youth Vera Brittain
Snow Falling on Cedars David Guterson
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Louis de Bernières
Sea Glass Anita Shreve
The Echoing Grove Rosamund Lehmann
Blackbird House Alice Hoffman
The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini
The Bay of Angels Anita Brookner
Iris and Ruby Rosie Thomas
The Great Stink Clare Clark
My father’s Fortune Michael Frayn

And the poetry of:

W H Auden
Louis MacNiece
D H Lawrence
Jacques Prévert
Seamus Heaney
Wilfred Owen
Dylan Thomas

(These are not definitive lists, of course, and in no particular order)

At the moment I am reading:

The Moon Field by Judith Allnatt

and the poetry of Gareth Owen