MY HEART BELONGS IN CULBONE.
Malcolm D. Welshman
I’ve a special place in my heart for Exmoor, with its sweeping moorland vistas, rugged coast and villages steeped in history. My love for the area is all the more ardent as I was married in Culbone Church, that tiny jewel tucked into the cliff top to the west of Porlock. Often my mind floats back to that glorious sun-kissed day in May of 1976 when Maxeen became my wife. So it’s an extra-special pleasure to be returning to the area for the Porlock Arts Festival 25-28th September where, on the Sunday, I shall be talking about my life with animals and how they have influenced my writing. Little did I realise when I signed Culbone’s register – only the 49th signature in the past 163 years – how varied and engaging my life would be as a vet over the next 30 years. From working at London Zoo, travelling across Africa in a truck, treating a camel and ostrich along the way, to escapades in a small animal hospital on the Sussex coast which formed the basis of my three pet novels. The first of those, Pets in a Pickle, has a foreword by James Herriot’s son and reached number two on Kindle’s bestseller list. My third, Pets Aplenty, published this August, continues the exploits encountered by my alter-ego, Paul Mitchell, and his relationship with Lucy, the junior nurse at the hospital. So far, it’s been very much an on-off romance. Readers of the earlier books have been keen to know how things might develop. Let’s just say that in the next book after Pets Aplenty, readers will be transported to a magical spot on the edge of Exmoor, drawn into a tiny church on the cliffs, while May blossom spirals confetti-like round a blissfully happy couple, echoing the scene of nearly forty years ago.
I’m a retired vet and author. My first novel, published by John Blake Publishing in May 2011, was Pets in a Pickle. This has a foreword by James Herriot’s son and quotes by Sir Terry Wogan and Richard Madeley, amongst others. The ebook version reached number two on Amazon Kindle’s bestseller list. The second book in the series, Pets on Parade, was published April 2012. The third,Pets Aplenty, will be published in the summer of 2014.
For further info: www.malcolmwelshman.co.uk
DATE FOR THE DIARY: Meet Malcolm at the Porlock Arts Festival on 28 September 2014.