Need to keep trying different combinations - something too formulaic if all the books are the same me thinks. Particularly enjoying the fact that I've made one that wants to be all on its own.. yes, it's probably too dark - they probably all are - but I'm so inclined to keep them that way. There's something in those shadows that seems to always be there when you look around.. you don't even have to be right in the forest, the edges have it too. (I've called it the 5% sinister element, but sinister is not quite the right word).
As you can tell, i've got a real thing about the forests and woods over here (interestingly, this distinction of dual terminology seems not to exist), and my little boy mentality has the forests over here not being so, well, benign (for want of a better word) as the woods of England. But in a Lord of the Rings way* there is clearly spirits and creatures living in them. Or, of course, over-active imagination just running away because there's so much space and so much darkensss.. Yes, yes. And I'd like to think that there is a similar affair going on the dense woods of my own little island. My beloved Quantock Hills, for one example!
When I went to the Highlands of Scotland for the first time, I was ridculously romantic enough to really feel that God could indeed live up there. (No, I don't really know what I mean by that, and my Scottish friend Ross would not be happy about that level of ponce). but I feel similarly strongly that if there are unseen creatures and spirits that dwell in forests, then Finland is where they roam at large.
* Tolkien was evidently inspired by The Kalevala, by Elias Lönnrot, a 19th-century work of epic poetry compiled from Finnish and Karelian oral folklore and mythology