It all started when I was six or seven. Twiddling the knobs on our ‘Bakelite’ radiogram I would listen to the Shipping Forecast … and I presumed that characters like Dogger and Bailey, Hebrides and Malin actually made the weather for us every day.
This is when I began writing my ‘Weather Story’, imagining that these creatures were divided into two groups: the Fair and Foul Weather Fairies, battling to control our weather. And as I wrote more and more they turned into individuals, Malin-the-Bad, for example, and Finistere the White Witch.
Much later, I developed it during ‘Creative Writing’ - the Subsidiary Subject I chose while studying for my MA in Ceramics at The Royal College of Art. And it won the ‘Creative Writing Prize’. However, the story, though fun, still didn’t have a strong enough core for my liking.
But then we became aware of ‘Global Warming’; this would provide a strong centre for me to complete the tale.
‘Weather or Not’ is for readers aged 9-90, including those who go out to sea in ships – and those who love the Shipping Forecast.
This is a book about the rise of Global Warming seen through the eyes of Wendy, a young girl snatched from the roof of the Exeter Weather Station by German Bight, only to be captured and imprisoned in the dark, unwholesome dungeons of Heligoland – a cloud-castle situated at the heart of a LOW barely rising above the Irish Sea – the home of the Foul Weather-Makers.
Then, as she uses the Jet Stream, we follow Wendy on a journey to Beaufort – a towering white Cumulus Cloud situated above the White Cliffs of Dover where the Fair Weather-Makers like Faroes, Fair Isle, Fastnet and Nanny Dover dwell.
A magical Weather Book gives power to whoever opens it to create Extreme Weather. Wendy is sent down again to Exeter, to warn the Mortals about all the changes that need to be made urgently to save Planet Earth.