The inspiration behind Sunshine at Cherry Tree Farm
Sunshine at Cherry Tree Farm was born out of a need to celebrate the life of my gorgeous little Westie, Millie. It was my first chick lit novel, as I felt that was the best medium to tell the story. Although Jenni is nothing like me and neither is the circumstances or the plot, Millie in the book is heavily based on my own little dog.
She was such a sweet-natured, gentle dog with a terrier's stubbornness and determination, and it took me a long time to come to terms with her death. For months afterwards, I used to imagine I could hear the tag on her collar tinkling, or catch a glimpse of her out of the corner of my eye. I used to swear I could feel the nudge of her nose on my leg when I was chopping carrots, or feel the weight of her on my feet when I was sitting watching TV.
I vividly remember sitting on a plane, deep in the throes of writing Sunshine at Cherry Tree farm, and tears were pouring down my face (I won't tell you why, but if you do read the book, you'll understand), my grief as raw as the day I lost her.
Millie, although technically the family dog, was really mine, and I think i was more affected at losing her than Hubby or Daughter.
Hence, the book; it also explains the the dedication at the end - "To ghost dogs everywhere and the humans who still love them."