Saturday September 14 , 2013
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Susie Tarver (Author) - Field of Stars: The Road to Santiago

Book publisher author I don't suppose that I am entirely alone in finding that the search for a publisher is by far the hardest part of writing a book - rejections seem almost to go with the territory.  I shall never be able to explain the happy accident which brought me to Schiel & Denver's website, but once I had found it I was struck immediately by its reassuringly positive tone, and from the moment they accepted my manuscript I have been strengthened and encouraged by their enthusiasm which has colored the whole experience.

In particular the patience and enthusiasm of my expert publishing team has been a strong support which has made the whole process of publication a happy one from start to finish.  After all the put-downs, from the regretful-but-final to the frankly-supercilious, Schiel & Denver's attitude has brought a refreshing optimism to the whole process of writing. 

Susie Tarver's book, Field of Star, is a compelling and spiritual account of her pilgrimage through one of Western Europe's oldest and most sacred heritage trails, the Santiago de Compostela. More often referred to as, "the Camino". Due to the passion and unfaltering honesty of her writing, Susie's book has been embraced in France as an inspiring self confidence for women of all ages. With Schiel & Denver's help, Susie has been asked to speak as an inspirational speaker - giving talks to young women and schoolgirls both in France and Toronto about her inspirational journey.

The inspiring story behind Field of Stars

I've been many things in my life - teacher, mother, farmer, guest house landlady and public relations specialist - before moving to France at the age of fifty. I have three children: Miranda, Robin and Jason who are now in their thirties.

When Miranda was a baby, and my husband was away at sea in the Navy, I bought a tumbled-down, sixteenth century cottage with a twisty staircase and two tiny bedrooms under the eaves, set in several acres of farmland. Fascinated by the history surrounding my new home, I set about recreating the smallholding it had once been, with cows, sheep, pigs, poultry and two hives of bees as well as a. vast vegetable garden. Soon hams hung from the beams in the kitchen along with strings of onions and baskets of eggs, and tapestries made from the wool of my sheep decorated the walls. Robin and Jason were both born in one of the miniscule bedrooms as geese cackled beneath the window.

I was content, but my husband was not. Finally, to save my marriage I agreed to move to a house of his choosing, and the family relocated to a large, Jacobean mansion at the foot of the Sussex downs. I promised not to start another farm, but eventually became frustrated by the waste of space in a house with eight bedrooms - as well as the lack of money - and turned it into a guest house. This compromise lasted three years and ended in divorce.

Moving to a small village cottage which my children filled with crowds of friends, I returned to teaching, which had been my original profession. I set up a company offering training in presentation and media communication, as well as advice on public relations, to industries large and small. The company thrived and soon included cabinet ministers and the directors of multinational organisations among its clients.

After ten years, and with the children settled in London and America, I fulfilled my dream of returning to the countryside by moving to France with my new partner. I fell in love with a ruined cottage, on an isolated hillside, which had neither electricity nor running water, and for several years I lived happily in primitive conditions as renovations slowly progressed. But history has a way of repeating itself and one day I returned home from a trip to England to find that my partner, defeated by the life we were leading, had left me.

For a time I considered giving up the whole adventure as something too difficult to cope with alone, but in time I recreated my life, finding that on my own it was easier to meet the people who lived in my area. Eventually I met a Frenchman called Bernard, who not only introduced me to his many friends but also showed me secret places known only to people who had lived there all their lives. Life began again.

From the start I had been intrigued by an overgrown path which ran past the door of my house. Eventually, at the age of fifty-seven, with the support of my new friends and above all the encouragement of my mother who was an inveterate traveller, I set out to follow it and see where it led. The result of that walk is this story.

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