Interview – July 2011

Delia Raica, a friend on, requested this interview. She posted it on her blog, along with a very nice and perceptive review of Farundell, and I reproduce it here.

her bookblog:

DR: How did the idea of writing Farundell come to life and what’s behind the name?

LRF: I wanted to write the sort of book I like to read, one that goes beneath the surface of things, asks interesting questions, perhaps even expands consciousness! But also, a book that gives pleasure and that touches the heart.

Farundell is an old Anglo-Saxon field name meaning a “quarter part” – same root as fardle and farthing. I’d been searching for ages for the right name for the Damory’s house, and when I came upon Farundell in a book called Old English Place Names I knew at once that was IT. I’d originally titled the book Time and Light; my publishers thought that was too abstract and urged Farundell instead. They were totally right!

DR: I will not ask what your favorite book is but can you name one that has made a lasting impression?

LRF: Little, Big by John Crowley.

DR: On your site there’s a short video of Farundell. Have you also thought of painting a scene or a character from the book?

LRF: I have and I did. Various scenes and settings; also a portrait of Paul that friends tell me is very haunting. I don’t want to publish it because I really feel that readers need to visualise for themselves. A writer should give just enough of a description to suggest, never impose. Having said that, I’d love to know how different readers do picture him!

DR: Will any other characters from Farundell, apart from Francis, be present in the second book of the series?

LRF: I’m not finished with it yet, so I can’t be sure. Alice may have a cameo appearance, perhaps also Theo. But a later book will pick up Paul and Alice ten years or so after Farundell.

DR: Although Farundell is a wonderful trip into the land of dreams and reality, some may find reading it a bit of a challenge. What sort of reader do you envision for your book?

LRF: An open minded one, who is willing to dip a toe into the unknown. A reader who doesn’t need or want to have every single little thing spelled out for them, who gets a thrill out of finding hidden meanings, discovering symbols, connecting the dots. A reader who loves a book that can be read more than once.

DR: How do you unwind at the end of a hard day’s work?

LRF:Anything without words in it: I weed the garden, weather permitting. I listen to music, I go for long walks. I paint or play about with my synthesiser. I cook myself a nice dinner. I sleep.