Spotlight on Britain: Cornwall

It was eight years ago last weekend when I officially moved to Cornwall. I enjoyed many holidays here when I was a child, but it was thanks to my parents’ decision to relocate to Redruth that brought me to this pleasant and beautiful county. So, at the age of eighteen, I packed my belongings and made the almost two hundred and seventy mile journey from the West Midlands to my new home. Believe me when I say that I don’t regret it. How can I when I have such wonderful beaches on my doorstep?

Nat Wood 1

Portreath is just three miles away. Being my most local beach, I travel there on an almost daily basis, and it’s a great location for walking my dogs. The sunsets in the summer are amazing to behold. The sea is so warm and clear, it’s ideal for snorkelling if you want to catch a glimpse of crabs, fish, starfish . . . a seal or two. If you’re even luckier, a pod of dolphins might also pass by.


There’s a few castles in Cornwall too. This one is Carn Brea, with Redruth town in the background. It’s situated on top of a hill, which on a clear summer’s day, you can stand upon and pretty much see the whole of the county. Rebuilt as a hunting lodge for the Basset family in the 18th century, it’s now a privately owned restaurant. The only electricity is in the kitchen, so the diners eat by candle light. My partner treated me to such a wonderful meal here, and if any of you happen to be in my neck of the woods, then I recommend giving it a try.

St Ives

As I was going to St. Ives, I met a man with seven wives.

Each wife had seven sacks.

Each sack had seven cats.

Each cat had seven kits.

Kits, cats, sacks, and wives . . . how many were going to St. Ives?

I’m not terribly fond of the town, to be honest. In the summer, you can barely move for all the tourists. My memories of St. Ives involve being dragged around the harbours, up and down hills, stumbling on the cobbles of the narrow back streets on swelteringly hot days. Winter in Cornwall is so peaceful. I walk my dogs on the beach on Christmas day and I’m the only person inhabiting the area; three miles of golden sands all to myself. The long walks and the solitude sure help the story ideas to build.

Hells Mouth

In my most recent novel, Waves Of Healing, I briefly mentioned Hell’s Mouth. There is a café situated across the road from the cliff’s edge, but it’s the beauty spot itself that draws the eye of locals and tourists alike. Perhaps for its name, or the fact that Hell’s Mouth is sometimes the final destination for those who feel they can’t go on. I stopped by there two weeks ago to take these pictures, and believe me when I say that anyone brave enough to step so close to the edge must have been a desperate soul. The image below is as close as I dared to go.

Cliff edge

This was almost at high tide. When the sea is out, there’s nothing but rocks below. Scary thought, huh?

Lizard Point

During my travels two weeks ago, I drove to the most southern point of the UK. You can’t go any further south from Cornwall without getting your feet wet. It’s widely believed that Land’s End is the most southern tip of Great Britain, but that isn’t true. It’s actually Lizard Point. I have no idea why it’s called Lizard, since really it’s just a lighthouse, a few cafés, and a car park. However, I did pass this rather amusing vandalised sign on my way down the narrow road leading there.

assing place Inspiration, perhaps?

Author Bio:

N. Wood is a budding young author living in Cornwall, United Kingdom. She first developed an interest in writing at the age of nine when her poetry was first published. Since then, she has moved onto writing both short stories and novels focusing on gay romantic themes.






All photos – N. Wood

Welcome to N. Wood

A warm welcome to N. Wood on our blog, chatting about her books and showing some stunning pictures of Cornwall beaches, near where she lives.

Nat Wood

How did you discover the MM/gay romance genre?

I first discovered M/M romance through fanfiction. I was an avid reader of Twilight fanfiction for a few years where I discovered many wonderful authors, but I didn’t have the courage to follow in their footsteps straight away and try writing for myself. I had read a heterosexual story that I’d enjoyed and I clicked on the person’s profile to see what else they had to offer. It was there that I discovered a story with a M/M pairing, so I decided to give it a try. Just like the previous story, it was really well written and I found that I couldn’t stop reading it. I caught up to as far as the author had written and begged for more in my review. I still read heterosexual stories and fanfiction from time to time, but my main genre to read and write is M/M romance.

Cornwall - Nat Wood

 What made you start writing in the genre?

After begging the author for more of her M/M story, we became friends on Facebook and I shamelessly stalked her to find out what other stories she was writing. She in turn had a read of one or two of my heterosexual attempts and she encouraged me to give M/M a try too. It took a while before I plucked up the courage to do so and I wrote what was meant to be just a one-shot story. The work was dark edged and tense, which seemed to leave those who read it begging for more, so I began turning that one-shot into a multi-chaptered story. While that was going on, I also attempted another one-shot for a M/M fanfiction picture prompt competition. It was the only M/M story that was submitted and didn’t place in the top three, but I received many reviews asking for the story to be continued once the contest was over. That one-shot became my most successful fanfiction story within the fandom and it won a few awards along the way

Cornwall-Nat Wood

Where do you base your book(s)? 

My first self-published bookLa Cala’ is based in Ibiza, though both characters are from the UK, one from Ireland and the other from Scotland. Another self-published book I wrote was flamed for the fact it was based in America, and since I’ve never been there, there were some errors with my work. One person flamed me for the fact I wrote it as raining in Seattle. I guess the word ‘fiction’ doesn’t mean much anymore. Well, my other stories are being based here in the UK, mostly in Cornwall where I now live. I do find that writing about places I know is easier and better, and I can detail elements of my stories a lot more when I can picture the locations clearly in my mind. ‘Waves Of Healing’ is mostly based within a five mile radius of where I live. The beaches mentioned are all ones that I frequent when I walk my dogs, the roads are ones that I drive almost daily.

Cornwall-Nat Wood

 Tell me about your current/forthcoming novel.


Waves Of Healing is a novel that follows the lives of Joel Ritter and Dominic Thornton. Joel is a surfing instructor and Dominic is a paramedic. They attended the same school and Dominic had a huge crush on Joel, but he had been more interested in his career ambitions to notice the young man following him around like a love-sick puppy. During a winter’s night, Joel is driving home from a surf competition when he swerves to avoid a badger in the road. His vehicle loses traction on the ice and he crashes his van on the side of the road. Dominic is on duty that night and he’s called to the scene of the accident. He’s shocked when he discovers that it’s his school crush who’s struggling to survive. Later in the story, (not wanting to give too much away), a turn of events sees Joel moving in with Dominic during his recovery and it comes down to the paramedic to show Joel that it isn’t the end of the world, he can still be loved and there are things worth fighting for.

 What are you writing at the moment?

I have a few ideas lined up, so I need to just wait and see which one strikes me the most to decide which one I’ll be writing first. One or two are even heterosexual stories, but the majority are M/M and those will probably be the ones I set about writing first.

Author bio

N. Wood is a budding young author living in Cornwall, United Kingdom. She first gained an interest in writing when she became a published poet at the age of nine. Since then she’s moved onto both short and novel length fiction with a M/M romance baseline.

  • Internet links (website/twitter/facebook etc)






Blurb: Joel Ritter had the career he always wanted, teaching others to surf the waves in the same way he learned to in his teenage years. Instructing and guiding his students through surfing competitions had long since been his passion, but an unfortunate car accident one winter’s night in Cornwall turned his whole life upside down and dashed his ambitions.
Dominic Thornton endured school in Joel’s shadow, following his crush around like a lovesick puppy. Now as a twenty-nine year old paramedic, Joel’s life and his future rests in his hands. Can he guide the disheartened surfer through his recovery and prove to him that there is still a love and life to live for without losing his own faith and belief in Joel in the process?

Buy link: Amazon

Excerpt: The boys appeared to be oblivious to the fact their instructor was standing among them while they gathered their towels and toiletries. Joel turned his brown eyes to each of them, noticing how two of the seven in his team held glum expressions from the results of the contest, whereas the other five didn’t seem to care. When the first few walked towards the showers, he couldn’t take their ignorance any longer. Joel released his grip on the clipboard and threw it across the room with such force, it snapped in two against the door. The ensuing bang followed by the splintering of wood was enough to shock the seven teens into silence and draw their attentions to the red-faced man standing among them. The two that had approached the shower room stood frozen in place, having almost jumped out of their skins when the clipboard had missed them by an inch. All eyes turned towards Joel with puzzled expressions. He’d never been so infuriated with them in all the time he’d coached their surfing careers. The recent act of violence had stunned them, but not as much as his words would.

“What in the flying fuck was that?” he yelled, adding emphasis to the swear word.

“Jeez, boss, calm down.”

Joel turned his glare on the one who had spoken. The youth was of a similar height to him and their eyes locked onto each other’s with ease. At six foot two inches, Joel had once been a skinny teenage surfer like all of the youngsters, but now at almost thirty, he trained them instead while surfing recreationally for his own habits. He had worked as an instructor in Cornwall, England for people of various ages over the years, but Godrevy was where he’d chosen to set up his business. The beach was just a small section of three miles of golden sands, and the sea swell was a good spot for learners and experts alike. However, just because Joel was young and athletic like them didn’t mean he would take shit from his team.

“Calm down? Don’t you dare tell me to calm down! Look at you all, so laid back and uncaring that you just got your arses whipped by the Aggie boys!” He glanced to every face in the room while expressions turned into grimaces and pouts in response to his declaration. Mark Shaw and his St. Agnes team weren’t just his rivals. The two boys still near to the shower room door hurried to park their butts on benches when Joel pointed for them to do so. Following suit, the others sat also and hung their heads in shame. Now he had their attention, Joel pressed his hands to his hips and took a more threatening stance. “Thanks to the stunts you all pulled out there today, congratulations are in order. Well done! You’ve just made yourselves a laughing stock!”

The boys lowered their heads further while he lectured them for several minutes, sometimes pacing, other times gesticulating when his pent up frustrations were released with ground out words. All of the youths understood Joel meant business, and he scrutinised them with a fierceness while he spoke, though he had to keep reminding himself that they were just teenagers who cared more about getting drunk and lucky later on than the competition, whether they won or lost.

Joel gazed over to the youngest member of his team, Jason. At only sixteen, he was already a very promising surfer. With him being beneath the legal drinking age, much of his time was spent in the water when the swell was decent enough. Now he sat quaking with small tremors of nervousness while Joel chastised them. Jason’s blond hair was soaked and limp across his face, dripping water into eyes bluer than the sea. With his wetsuit peeled down to his waist, goosebumps littered the youngster’s torso and the chilled air had caused his nipples to stand erect on his hairless chest. Joel had to remind himself that while the boy was just about legal, he was nearing thirty and that would be seen as wrong.

He continued to lecture them for a few minutes longer, aware from experience that their arses were probably numb from the hard benches that lined the clubhouse walls, and all of them were shivering from being wet in such cold conditions. Pulling his beanie from his head, Joel ran his fingers through his hair while he came towards the end of his scolding.

“Now, you guys had better get your arses into gear or you can kiss any chance of a sponsorship goodbye.”

Though he considered his words to be harsh, Joel knew they had to understand they couldn’t let great opportunities like that slip through their fingers if they wanted to succeed and become pro surfers. They were all capable of far more than they’d shown out there in the sea today. With a last look around the miserable faces in the room, he noticed many were studying their feet. Only one was staring straight back at him.

The youth stood up, his face devoid of emotion. “Boss?”

The other teens in the room turned their heads to catch a glimpse of the brave soul who had dared to address their instructor following his outburst of anger towards them. His name was Shaun; a big boy of eighteen years old and another of Joel’s promising wave riders. He stood before them all with one hand clutching a towel at his hip to keep it from falling. The thin and fluffy fabric was all he wore.

Glancing each side of him to the teenagers in the room, Shaun then levelled his eyes back on Joel and flew his other hand to his groin, cupping himself through the towel and gave a tug. “Suck my cock.”

All pictures – N. Wood