Renowned Welsh writer, radio presenter and journalist Horatio Clare credits nature for his inspiration, explaining, “Everything I write is based in nature, except certain essays commissioned by papers, publishers or individuals. All my books come from nature, the tradition of being in it, reading about it, writing it up. Truant, my second book, takes nature to include the innards of certain London pubs, which of course it does. My next book, about going to sea in ships, is very much a nature book, about the vast waters.”
The spirited author has vivid memories of growing up in the Black Mountains, “I remember the great silence of the mountain, and the owls in the wood, and the foxes yelling in the winter like sentries being murdered. I remember getting up in the morning, and the valley a lake of mist, and the mountains surging red into the blue. Actually ALL the memories I have of that time are vivid. Hence by first book, ‘Running for the Hills‘…”
From his novella, ‘The Prince’s Pen’, a retelling of a Mabinogion story throughout Wales, to his travel writings, ‘A Single Swallow – Following the Migration from South Africa to South Wales‘ the accolades and great reviews come thick and fast. “I was always going to be a writer,” he explains, “when I was very young, my journalist father said he hoped I would be a doctor: ‘Then at least one of us will do something useful’ and I did think about joining the merchant navy, and the Paras at one stage but there was only ever one plan really, to write.”
A regular contributor to Literary events, Horatio will be at Dinefwr Literature Festival near Carmarthen, next weekend, leading a nature walk, telling a story to ten year-olds and interviewing Ian Sinclair. And at Beyond the Borders Wales International Story Telling weekend at St Donat’s Castle in the Vale of Glamorgan, on the same weekend, he will be discussing myths with Niall Griffiths, (who he describes as ‘the best writer in Wales’), and Erica Wagner, Literary Editor of the Times.
Having had his own garden as a child, Horatio speaks fondly of his garden in Verona (where he now lives), “ the jasmine is just dying: what a wonderful creation it is; I love the smell and all the white stars, though they are yellowing now. The smell of the pines is also intoxicating, and the oleander is out wonderfully, colouring the heat. Now, when I am home in Wales the dog roses are all out; I think they are my favourites, and bearded irises, and valerian.”
“My ambition is to come back to live in Wales; to raise children in Wales, to write more and better books and to find my beautiful car that I sold to that wretched banker (she’s a Citroen DS 21 number plate beginning THJ) and buy her back!”
Read more about Horatio, his books and his upcoming talks and walks at www.horatioclare.co.uk.