I'm making a pledge piece for my friends new book 'Ring The Hill', it has hares in it, so I'm making a couple of hare pendants. One has sold, but I'm sure I can be arm twisted to make one more!
A book about hills. Actually, that’s not true. It’s a book around hills: the magical names we have given hills over the centuries, the legends associated with them, the history hidden in their folds, the exhilarated feeling you get when you’ve walked at pace to the top of one on a crisp autumn day, the perspective they give us on the land, on life.
The title, incidentally, is an old phrase for hare, from the 13th Century poem The Names Of The Hare, written on the Welsh border. I like it because I love hares - and this book, like my previous one, is not without them - and because of its folkloric nature but also because it describes what the prose in this book does. Additionally, I quite like the idea of ringing the hill in a different way: that a hill is something you might get in touch with in a crisis, big or small… at a point when you need perspective: “Dial 999 and choose option 3, ‘Hill’, to speak directly to a hill.” “Fun hills are waiting to chat just with you. Calls cost 60p per minute peak time!” I am enchanted by many flat landscapes, but I get my comfort from hills. Stand at the summit of a good hill and you get a profound sense of the interconnectivity of the land that you just don’t get when you’re down in the bustle of it, no matter how clearly you’re thinking. Moreover, this, more often than not, will also give you a bigger sense of the interconnectivity of life. In mid Somerset, where I currently live, the hills are sudden, with big flat stretches between them. From their summits, you get more of a tangible sense than in some other counties of what a palimpsest modern life is, of how much the landscape is still countryside, despite progress’s increasing attempts to bludgeon it. You stand at the top, buzzing a little from the climb, and you know the tile warehouses and Costas and telephone masts and tyre fires are there, but there is a sense, too, that they - and we - are just fleeting shadows on top of something bigger and more profound.
"Hello. I am Tom, and this is my website. It’s a bit more than a normal author website, in the sense that all my writing that isn’t in my books – and some that is – gets posted here. Since 2015 I’ve written many many thousands of words about nature, folklore, music, books, landscape, family, social history, films and more, and I add to this at least once a month, usually more often than that. It’s all totally free, but if you do feel like setting up a monthly subscription to help support what I’m trying to do, the option is there, and every little really does help. You can do this through Paypal or GoCardless.A little more about me: I have written ten books, including The Good, The Bad And The Furry, which was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller, and 21st Century Yokel, which The Guardian described as “a rich, strange, oddly glorious brew” and was longlisted for the Wainwright Nature Writing prize. I tend to look upon my first six books as a learning period, and I’m often highly critical of them, but I’m much happier with my latest four. My newest, Help The Witch, is a collection of sort-of-ghost stories-which draw on folklore and the power of landscape. I often now work in collaboration with my mum, Jo, who is an artist and printmaker and whose prints have featured in my last two books. I am six foot tall (minus quarter of an inch, if we’re being pedantic), my favourite band is Pentangle (on the days when my favourite band isn’t Traffic or the Stones), and I still haven’t got around to getting any A-levels or a degree but haven’t totally written the idea off. When I’m not writing, I’m usually reading, mooching about in a secondhand record shop or bookshop or swimming or walking somewhere out in the elements in the South West Of The UK, where I have lived for most of the last five years. Sometimes, I also DJ on a radio station called Back in what is quickly becoming the mists of time (1996-2015) I was a journalist too but I decided to quit that entirely, in order to find more freedom in my writing and hopefully achieve some of the things I’d always wanted to, creatively. This site is a big part of that.Thanks for reading!"