Tag: historical fiction

Past Imperfect: the Complications of Historical Authenticity

Past Imperfect: the Complications of Historical Authenticity

People who don’t usually read historical fiction are often surprised to find out how much research goes into a historical novel. Yes, novelists use their imaginations to flesh out the details, but we also do extensive research to make the setting of our novels feel authentic to the reader. All good novels incorporate sensory details, […]

February 22, 2018 | By | Reply More
Ten Reasons Why You Need an Editor

Ten Reasons Why You Need an Editor

No writer on the planet will find every single error in his or her writing. That’s a given. So yes, of course you need an editor to catch your mistakes. But you also need an editor – a team of them, actually – to help you become the very best writer you can be. Editors […]

February 5, 2018 | By | 2 Replies More
Behind the Scenes of Daughters of the Night Sky

Behind the Scenes of Daughters of the Night Sky

I begin the author’s note of Daughters of the Night Sky by admitting I am not a pilot, am not an expert on Russia, and had never really had more than the passing interest in World War Two than most history buffs share. Even with these challenges, it was a story I was compelled to […]

January 27, 2018 | By | 1 Reply More
The Inspiration for The Chalky Sea

The Inspiration for The Chalky Sea

I live in Eastbourne, on the English Sussex coast. My family  lived here when I was a schoolgirl and I decided to move back recently after twenty years in London. I have always had a hankering to move back to the sea. What I hadn’t expected was that the town had a secret wartime history. […]

August 19, 2017 | By | Reply More
Rebuilding Bodies & Souls

Rebuilding Bodies & Souls

Since the release of my novel, The Beauty Shop, a few readers have queried why I wrote a story about a beauty salon in WW2. It’s a topic of conversation that has raised many smiles amid an air of confusion. You see, the ‘Beauty Shop’ was the name given to the ward at the Queen […]

May 27, 2017 | By | Reply More
Walk a Mile In Your Characters’ Shoes

Walk a Mile In Your Characters’ Shoes

“Write what you know.” Apparently, it was Mark Twain who gave this famous bit of advice, with which, to be honest, I don’t always agree. As a writer of historical fiction set hundreds and thousands of years past, it’s impossible to truly know what happened in those times. I don’t really know if all the […]

April 25, 2017 | By | 5 Replies More
The Challenges and Joys of Writing Historical Fiction for Teenagers

The Challenges and Joys of Writing Historical Fiction for Teenagers

  Flying through Clouds is my new historical novel for young adults, and follows on from my first novel, Racing the Moon, which was published in Australia in 2014. Although both novels share the same main character and are set mostly in Sydney in the 1930s, the stories are quite different, and so were my […]

March 10, 2017 | By | Reply More
Writing Team Spirit

Writing Team Spirit

Writing a book is a wonderful, yet often lonely business, especially when writing a book about togetherness and the power of camaraderie, like The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir. After spending days laboring in front of a laptop in an empty room, I can quickly become fraught with plot-related anxieties, character qualms, voice worries, and that omnipresent […]

February 23, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More
Historical Fiction: Making Research Invisible – And Ignoring The Aspidistra

Historical Fiction: Making Research Invisible – And Ignoring The Aspidistra

Memory is a cruel thing. It lingers in dark trenches, whispering, or withholding, waiting to creep into the no-man’s-land of our dreams. It knows what we long to remember, and what we hope to forget. And it knows Hearsay and Imagination will cover any gaps… So begins my new novel, The Echo of Twilight. Set […]

February 16, 2017 | By | Reply More
How Archival Research Added Texture To My Novel

How Archival Research Added Texture To My Novel

Let me make this clear from the start: I love the smell and feel of archival documents, those yellowing bits of paper and crumbling photographs that rustle ever so slightly when extracted from their manila envelopes. There’s something magical about scouring through meters of racks, drawers and file folders until you find an interesting or […]

December 21, 2016 | By | 7 Replies More