There are several settings in The Candle People including the intriguing Sanlucar de Barrameda, but Cornwall was important because, despite the ever-increasing tourism that threatens its idle paths it has miraculously retained an element of mystery, the type that pervaded before the railways apparently depleted its faeries and the weary pedlar began plying his trade. Along those Cornish lanes steeped in legend and magic, tricks are played, the trees whisper, the grasses divert, the sea laughs at man’s labours - or so it seems. The Candle People is about many things, friendship, love, jealousy, loss, art, rumour, mystery… and doesn’t fall easily into any particular genre. Hopefully its readership will be as diverse.
Some years ago in an antique shop in a sleepy, Cornish village I blundered upon a painting swept negligently behind a faded, green Chesterfield. The painting, set modestly in a plain, wooden frame, was a portrait and bore, upon closer regard, an uncanny resemblance to an old friend of mine, Mirta, a very beautiful, Latin American girl who I’d met while living in California. We’d lost touch over the years and the painting was a happy reminder of friendships across the miles, of hippyish days sleeping under the stars and bathing at Deep Creek in the Mojave Desert. I immediately searched my pockets intent on purchase but found them hollow and with some regret I abandoned the painting to the stale odours and the gathering dust. Returning from my holiday however, I was amazed to find a postcard from Mirta from Puerto Rico. The threads of a story began to incubate and gathered impetus when the following year I visited Museo del Prado in Madrid which houses a collection of paintings by Francisco de Goya.