During any prolonged activity one tends to forget original intentions.
But I believe
that, when making a start on A Month in the County, my idea
was to write an easy going story, a rural idyll along the lines of
Thomas Hardy's Under the Greenwood Tree. And, to establish
the right tone of voice to tell such a story, I wanted its narrator
to look back regretfully across forty or fifty years but, recalling
a time irrecoverably lost, still feel a tug at the heart....
...Then again, during the months whilst one is writing about the past,
a story is coloured by what presently is happening to its writer.
So, inperceptibly, the tone of voice changes, original intentions
slip away. And I found myself looking through
another window at a darker landscape inhabited by neither the present
nor the past.
-- from the foreward to the novel