It has been fabulous to meet Miss Moonshine a lady of a certain age in a different time period who a little like Dr Who seems to defy age and death as she pops up in modern times too. A lady who has a certain magic and mystical aura who clearly wants to share only goodness with those around her. An anthology of stories by a writing group from Northern England. I love the concept of a group of writers working together to produce a book….a book which by its very nature of short stories allows the reader to dip in and out. I love the fact that the stories have a common theme, namely Miss Moonshine and her shop. I asked one of the authors Helen Pollard a little about the group and here is what she kindly shared.
How did your group come up with the concept of this book?
It was Helena Fairfax who suggested an anthology, and we all jumped at the idea. We wanted something that would tie all the stories together, so the first thing we decided was that they would all be set in Haven Bridge – a fictional version of Hebden Bridge, which is the place where we all meet and is the perfect setting for a story. I’m not quite sure how Miss Moonshine herself came about. I think someone suggested a particular shop that sold just the right thing that people might need in their lives, and we discussed the idea that there might be hints that the owner could be almost magical or at least all-knowing … and slowly but surely, Miss Moonshine and her Emporium were born.
Helen Pollard joined about three years ago and I asked ……..How many are in the writing group and how often and where do you meet?
The group has fluctuated over time, but there are nine of us who decided to do the anthology. We meet at Hebden Bridge, a pretty mill town in Yorkshire, as it is a place everyone can get to from our various points across Yorkshire and Lancashire. We meet for lunch maybe three or four times a year.
What is the purpose of your group?
Its original intention was simply a social group to discuss all things ‘writerly’ and provide mutual support and laughter! I believe the anthology has brought us even closer together, though.
Were there some stories not chosen to go in?
No, not at all. We each worked on our own story and then we edited each others’, with Helena as final editor. They are all accomplished writers and I’m proud to be a part of the anthology.