Most Bards will know that once the seed of a creative idea has been planted, the moment when this idea will fully materialise is unpredictable. For some projects, that first spark of inspiration is quickly followed by the work that will bring it to fruition, whilst others must cook in the cauldron of our deep creative selves for many years. Creativity possesses its own unique timing, dictated by forces as mysterious and magical as those that germinate the seed.
This fact is illustrated perfectly by Steve Gladwin’s book, ‘The Seven’. Here he writes a little about the book and how it came into being…
I came to the Vyrnwy Valley in 2001. I hadn’t intended to but I fell in love on a storytelling course and my fate was set. Coming to a strange place and a new partner I could never have anticipated that all this would lead to the discovery of a magical grove, a terrible loss and the writing of a children’s book. The Seven was released by Pont Books two weeks ago early and caught us all out. I very much see Celia’s hand in this. Sadly I lost Celia to cancer in 2006 but it is part of my late wife’s mischievous nature to keep us all on our toes like this..
I came to Welsh Myth, and therefore I suppose to Wales in 1992 when I discovered The Mabinogi. It was Pwyll Prince of Dyfedd whose name I still can’t pronounce. I always wondered what hppened to him later on. I didn’t believe Arawn was a nice guy. He didn’t seem like it to me.
Then in 1998 I started a story which would fifteen years later re-emerge as The Seven. It was so complicated that I couldn’t even tell you the plot or main character. I took so many walks up and down the road where we lived in Somerset and was no closer to knowing. Two years later I met Celia and came to Wales and one winter after a storm we discovered the grove of seven and I named all of them after characters in my complicated story; Child, Dark Lord, Warrior, Queen, Bard, Seeker and Mage. A little green mound of four oaks, two beeches and a single little ash at the top of a steep rise like an upturned half orange with seven cocktail sticks stuck in it. The trees seemed to suit the names and we came there often.After Celia died of cancer in 2006 I threw away everything I had written. As my muse she seemed to be guiding me to do this. As it turns out she was right…read more