Avril now lives in Canada, but hails from Cumbria, England, with Celtic roots reaching back into Wales and Ireland. Maybe that's why the ancient legends of the British Isles hold such fascination for her. Her handsome heroes are flawed, her gutsy heroines challenged, and her wicked villains...well, they are indeed quite wicked, with perhaps one or two redeeming qualities! In her novels, Avril serves up a generous amount of conflict and resolution, throws in a healthy scoop of romance and a generous sprinkling of magic. Her first novel, 'Triskele' - based on the legend of the last wolf in England - is currently being revised and should be available this summer (2014). The plot of her completed novel, 'The Cast Of A Stone', came to her while watching a rugby match between Wales and England. Unfortunately, she can't remember who won the match. She was too busy making notes.
author Guelph writer England Celtic short stories freelance medieval Wales Ireland legends British Isles novelist

I have stood on a windswept mountain top,
face to the sky,
lungs full of sweet, clean air.
Untouchable, immortal.
I am inspired.

I have lain 'tween sheets stained with shame,
seeking love and solace,
heart full of bitter, tarnished reality.
Corruptible, transient.
I am taught.

I have danced on soft green grass,
cool beneath my feet,
sipped rosehip wine in the shade
of weeping willows.
I am soothed.

I have stumbled on ragged rocks,
led astray by false direction,
wretched tears falling into
bottomless obsidian pools.
I am undefeated.

I am humble. I have my pride.
I have my dreams. I have my memories
I am foolish. I am wise.

I am. Simply. Me.

  • August 5, 2014
    A Chance Meeting...or was it?

    All was not quiet on the western front. It was the spring of 1917. Soldiers from Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the then Dominion of Newfoundland were attacking the German trenches near the town of Arras in France. This particular war zone was part of the backdrop to the famed battle of Vimy Ridge, where the Canadian troops - God bless 'em all - gave the Germans what for.
    
    But, although Vimy is a story to be told again and again, it is not my story for today. My story begins almost two weeks later on the 22nd April, 1917. 
    
    A meeting had taken place that day in one of the many miles of trenches. Two British soldiers, both from the Border Regiment yet previously separated in the melee, had found each other again.
    
    They were step-brothers; Robert, aged 22 and Thomas, (age unknown). Amazed and delighted at their chance meeting, they decided to sit down and write a letter home.
    
    They told their parents and their step brothers and sisters of their miraculous meeting before signing off with a single sentence.
    
    "Tomorrow we go over the top"
    
    On the 22nd April, 1917, these two men each shared some precious moments in the hell that was trench warfare.
    
    Now they share something else. The 23rd April, 1917. The day they both died.
    
    Robert Stanley Allonby and Thomas Daniel Bowness are memorialized in Arras.
    
    Robert was my great great uncle. His mother, a widow, married Thomas' father, a widower. Between them they shared 14 children.
    
    I have his mother's (my great great grandmother's) wedding band, which is made from her first wedding band twisted into the second band.
    
    How I wish I had that letter. 
  • June 14, 2014
    History and mystery...!

    I love legends, especially those of the British Isles.  The very word 'legend' summons up a delicious image of a story passed down through the centuries, changing and shifting shape as it travels, the original details buried beneath layers of time.
    
    The more renowned legends of Britain are fascinating enough, but its the obscure local legends that, for me, carry the most intrigue.  They're like little nuggets of inspiration, tucked away in villages and towns all over the country.  It's fun digging them out, especially since Google (my best friend) makes it so easy.
    
    My (second) soon-to-be-finished novel, 'Triskelion', is based on one of these legends, that being the story of the 'Last Wolf of Humphrey Head'.  It's a local legend, told to me as a child, and I've always loved it.
    
    In my next post, I'll share the original legend as it was told to me. 
    
    Have a wonderful day! 
  • June 10, 2014
    Childhood scribblings...

    After my mother died, I was going through a shoe-box full of papers that I found buried in her closet.
    
    All the poems I'd ever written for her, plus some homesick letters I'd sent her from Brownie Pack Holidays, were tucked away in an envelope.
    
    I cried, of course. It was an incredible emotional journey back to the days of youth and childhood. In truth, I couldn't remember writing half of what was in there, but the words were definitely mine, innocent and untainted by the trials of life.
    
    And those words had been treasured. They had meant something to someone.
    
    And that meant the world to me. 
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  • Avril said..
    Jade, it's so lovely to hear from you! I'm thrilled and delighted that you enjoyed the book. Thank you so much! James was such a loyal follower of the story as it was being created. His enthusiasm and encouragement meant a lot. That I've been able to share Triskelion with you too is brilliant. Keep in touch! Hugs. xx
    March 24, 2015
  • Jade T said..
    Hi Avril, I am Jade, James's wife. I have just finished Triskelion and I loved it. It had me in from the very first page and kept me there till the end. It was unlike any other book that I have ever read before and also introduced me to Lancashire of old. Your imagery took me right into the unfolding events as they played out. You blended all the characters to make this story the incredible journey that it was. A quest for love. The added pleasure of Lio the wolf bought this story to even greater heights. The wizardry was not only with Elric but also in your talent as a fine storyteller. I look forward to reading more of you books.
    March 16, 2015
  • Avril said..
    Susan, thank you for your comments. I'm so pleased you're enjoying The Cast Of A Stone. I must admit that this story surprised me with unexpected turns as well! Yes, I do intend to resurrect these characters. I currently have some other works in progress (unrelated) that I want to finish. After that...
    July 28, 2014
  • Susan M. said..
    I've never been to that part of the UK (although I spent 3 weeks travelling through Scotland in 2013). I am presently reading your latest book "the cast of a stone" and I am about 3/4 of the way through it and am enjoying thoroughly.... if has taken turns that I didn't expect, which I love, because I hate being able to predict a story line from the beginning....! Will there be more of this story coming... so far, it feels like there is much more to this young couple's story, as well as to Alex's story....! I for one would love to read more about them!
    July 26, 2014
  • Teresa J. said..
    Lovely. Romantic. Evocative. Stimulating yet calming..... :)
    June 28, 2013