JOURNEY is the most important part of the writing process, according to Adam Nicolson.

Coming up with an idea, setting it off and knowing how it will end is the first part of writing a book but the research and the enjoyment of the process is what he enjoys most.

Adam has written on a variety of topics, including landscape, memoirs of his life, places and great writing.

He will be in Taunton next month at the Taunton Literary Festival, discussing his book about great writing – The Making of Poetry: Coleridge, the Wordsworths and their Year of Marvels.

Adam said: “I came from a family of writers and I always knew I wanted to be a writer. After studying English at university in Cambridge, I walked around England for two years and wrote a book about it. I have been writing ever since.

“I write about anything that grabs me really. My main topics are different places, great writing, memoirs of my life and the country/landscape.

“My favourite book was probably 20 years ago, when I wrote about Islands in Scotland and discovered everything I could about them. The book was called Sea Room.

“I write about intriguing topics that I think about – with Sea Room, I was thinking ‘what could you say to write a book about a tiny island?’

“I always have an idea, set it off and know where I want to go but the experience and the journey is the real pleasure. Getting to the finished story is what matters the most to me.

“I really do love writing. When it goes well, and you get an idea to work and the writing is nice, enjoyable and people like reading it, then it becomes hugely pleasurable.”

Somerset County Gazette:

The Making of Poetry is a book about the relationship between and the great poetry of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

From 1797 to 1798, Wordsworth and Coleridge spent a year together living in The Quantocks in Somerset. During this time, Coleridge wrote The Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan and Wordsworth wrote his lyrical ballads.

Adam added: “There was no other year in which so much great poetry was written, so why did this happen there and then?”

“They lived in a small bit of landscape in the Quantocks – it wasn’t exceptional, I mean it wasn’t the Himalayas.

“I went down and lived there for a while to see what they did and where they walked, to see if this shaped them and their poetry.

“It was a combination of me, time, poetry, history and landscape. It was an incredibly revolutionary experience and I believe that the place wrote the poetry as much as the people.”

For most of the time Adam was researching The Making of Poetry and living in the Quantocks, he was accompanied by Tom Hammick who made woodcuts from the local timber, creating images which reflected the story of the lives of the young poets at that time. The woodcuts are featured throughout the book.

Tom and Adam have done joint events at most of their festival bookings so far this year and they love working together. Tom thought he was going to be in the United States teaching in November but his dates have changed and he will now be in the UK and joining Adam in Taunton.

After attending many literary festivals and talking about The Making of Poetry, Adam knows that every audience is different but there are always similar questions asked.

He explained that people are interested in how the drugs shaped Coleridge’s life and work, and about the friendship between both Wordsworth and Coleridge.

Adam will be at the Temple Methodist Church in Taunton on November 13, as part of the Taunton Literary Festival.

The Taunton Literary Festival runs from November 2 until November 29. There will be a range of talks from authors including Arthur Smith, Simon Heffer, Graham Fawcett, Nessa Carey, Tessa Hadley, Virginia Bailey, Christian Wolmar, Vic Marks, Katy Brand, Christopher Tugendhat and many more.

Adam added: “I haven’t been to Taunton Literary Festival before, but I am looking forward to it – the audience will know more about the Quantocks than I do.

“Somerset is the cradle of romantic poetry, but it is not mentioned as much as the Lake District.

“Wordsworth’s house is one of the greatest places of the world and it is neglected - I think it is as important as the house Shakespeare was born in.

“Alfoxton Park is rotting away, and I don’t know why someone doesn’t take it on and fix it up.

“Alfoxton Park is so relevant today with the climate change emergency and the protests – Wordsworth was aware of nature and its beauty too.”

For more information visit or contact Brendon Books by calling 01823 337742.