A storm had raged the night Eva was born. The world around witnessing fierce winds smashing through the forest, twisting trees from crown to root and ripping away rotting limbs, sent crashing through the canopy to thud down on earth, obliterating all in the way. The tempestuous air was strewn with dead leaves and splinters of bark, erupting like shrapnel from a bombsite, while the enraged sky roared on unabated, colliding chaotically with every obstacle, shattering windowpanes, convulsing brickwork and straining wooden barriers to breaking point. In defiance, the forest and little town braced themselves, provoking the wild elements to screech piercing cries down chimney stacks, scraping at masonry and scaring witless, huddled humans and animals within. When the storm died, a peace fell over the land as if a white flag of surrender had been raised, and once the final gusts had blown themselves out in maddened circles, a terrible rain fell cold and harsh and fearful eyes stared out from darkened fissures, great puddles forming in the earth’s dimples. The storm had battered the face of the town’s hospital perched on the side of Lipa hill, while the force of the onslaught had stirred the tainted blood of patients lying prostrate in darkened wards, stimulating anxiety over life and death, even amongst the surgeons and nursing staff already well-versed in so many aspects of adversity, but attempting to carry on regardless. The shrieks of a new born replaced the tumult of the storm, as though the child had been delivered on a closing gust, thrown from the 8 heavens to be placed in the cradle, and thereafter the squall died out once its work was done. The nurses left the mother to rest. However, in a quiet moment, she rose stealthily from the hospital bed, dressed hurriedly and without a glance at her infant in the crib, she scurried like a mouse from the maternity ward, down the stairs without a sound, an escape route quickly found through a rear entrance from where she hastened into the night.
Today we talk about Mrs Palermo’s Cottage, a book by AR Parker published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author AR Parker to get to know him better, where he found the inspiration that brought him to the writing of his book Mrs Palermo’s Cottage, as well as what added value has travelling brought to his writing style.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- Where did you find the inspiration to write this book?
I finished a job in Saudi Arabia, bought an apartment in a small town in northern Bohemia and went to live there, three hours north of Prague, up on the border with Germany and Poland. The region is exceptional for its hilly landscape and dense forest, which is protected by a state national park. In some ways, the people and locality sit happily behind the times and when I first went there, I was instantly reminded of the 1990s, which were very special years of liberation in Czech society. Exploring the vicinity and parkland, beautifully tended to by an army of female Romany gardeners, I came across a Children’s Home on the edge of town. I thought then that it was a lovely location for orphaned kids to grow up in. A group of them were playing in the garden and that’s when the idea hatched and grew. I’m not sure why I chose a girl, but Eva is connected to the story of Adam and Eve, as in the first ones. Originally, I was going to write about Eva and a boy, with their lives running parallel, but it didn’t work out like that. Soon after moving to the town, I went travelling in South America and the idea for a story was playing on my mind. At one point, I took a ship from Uruguay, across the Rio Plata to Buenos Aires where the dockland district is known as Palermo. So that’s where Mrs Palermo’s name comes from, despite her Czech nationality.
- What is the message you want to send out with your writing?
- Is there a book you are particularly attached to and that has taught you something? What is it?
Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne. Let the imagination loose, then wrap it up in a story.
- What added value has travelling brought to your writing style?
The less baggage you have, the better the trip. Kind of the same with writing, in trying not to be too wordy. Brutal editing is necessary to get rid of stuff you don’t really need.
- Are you planning to write more books?
Yes, and screenplays.
Europe Books thanks the author AR Parker once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside him on the editorial path that led to the publication of his book Mrs Palermo’s Cottage. We wish him the best of luck for his book and for his future works.
To you, my dear reader, may this book capture and amuse your reading time. I wish it will also allow you to have new insights and food for thoughts that you could reflect upon and find a way to apply in your everyday life.
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to enjoy your reading!