Shadow on the Highway has just been launched as a lovely paperback through Endeavour Ink. Look out for it in bookshops!
The audio rights and US ebook rights for Pleasing Mr Pepys have been sold, and A Plague on Mr Pepys is in the editing phase. I’m enjoying researching the third book in the trilogy.
Look out for a new edition of The Gilded Lily, coming soon from Quire Press.
The new edition of The Lady’s Slipper continues to be riding high on Amazon in the free charts, do get your copy now if you haven’t read it.
- #1 in Kindle Store > Books > Literature & Fiction > British & Irish > Historical
- #1 in Kindle Store > Books > Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > Sagas
- #1 in Kindle Store > Books > Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > Historical
August 15th 2016
Lady of the Highway, my third teen novel in the Highway Trilogy, is out now with Endeavour Press. ‘Pleasing Mr Pepys’ – the story of Pepys’s maid Deb Willett, who becomes a spy for the Dutch, is also coming soon.
I’m working on a second ‘Pepys’ book, this time about feisty Bess Bagwell, another of Pepys’s Mistresses and set during the Great Plague. I haven’t abandoned my Davina Blake persona either, she’s working on another book set in the aftermath of WWII and based in the Lake District.
I have just been reading entries for the Historical Novel Society Short Story competition – more than sixty altogether, and it has been a great experience with some fantastic writing. Shortlist soon! I’ll be speaking at the Historical Novel Conference, on YA historical fiction, alongside Simon Scarrow who writes gripping Roman books for young people. I’m also chairing a discussion called Ears at the Door, about servants in historical fiction. As you might know, I’ve always been interesting in the ordinary people rather than kings or queens, so this will be a treat for me. The speakers will be Jo Baker, Charlotte Betts and Susannah Dunn – I expect lots of thought-provoking questions from the audience!
Meanwhile, many readers across the pond in the US have been enjoying Past Encounters – my World War Two drama, written under my other pen-name Davina Blake. I have had several letters about the Great March which features in the book – with three people telling me that their fathers were on that march, and that reading the book made them realise what their fathers had gone through. Hearing that Past Encounters has been so personal to people is really inspiring.
What do Bloggers think of ‘Spirit of the Highway’?
‘an intense and gripping tale’
History Undressed Blog
‘a story of sacrifice, passion, and internal conflict’
Impressions in Ink Blog
‘brings the characters and the past alive for the reader with intricate details’
One Book Shy Blog
‘anyone regardless of age would love this story…Great story and great storytelling’
Book Nerd Blog
I’ll be touring the blogosphere with Spirit of the Highway soon!
Thanks to all the bloggers hosting me. Do join me on any of these dates.
Monday, October 26
Guest Post at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, October 28
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Thursday, October 29
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Monday, November 2
Review at The Maiden’s Court
Tuesday, November 3
Spotlight & Excerpt at Brooke Blogs
Thursday, November 5
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf
Plans for the blog tour for Spirit of the Highway are well underway. Contact me for updates of giveaways, interviews and historical snippets about Lady Katherine Fanshawe and her world.
The cover for Spirit of the Highway has just been released. All the ‘Highway’ books will feature the same model dressed in different colours, to keep the theme, even though this book is narrated by a young man. I think it looks beautiful. Paperback proofs will be ready in a few weeks, contact me if you’d like a review copy.
The second book in the Highway Trilogy for teens and adults , Spirit of the Highway, will be out at the end of September 2015 published by Endeavour Press. The story is told by Ralph Chaplin, a farmer’s son and the lover of Lady Katherine Fanshawe, the highwaywoman. This makes the cover of the book quite awkward to design because traditionally, historical fiction features a woman in a sumptuous period costume, and this can send out the wrong messages to readers who will then not be expecting the book to be narrated by a young man. Negotiations about the design of the cover are ongoing! I’ll post a cover up as soon as it is ready.
I have two novels I’m editing right now, but have just had a glorious weekend away in Northumberland to re-charge the batteries. More of my news can be found on my blog.
March 5th 2015
My latest ‘big’ novel is now with my agent who will be sending it out shortly to try to find it a home. I’m sad to see it go, because I’ve enjoyed working on it, but I’m already writing the second part of The Highway Trilogy for young adults, whilst I do research for my next adult book. Fortunately I already have a great idea for that, and can’t wait to get going on the research. A few clues – it involves an artist, the sea, a famous personality, celebrity culture, and is set in Victorian England. Whilst at university I studied the Victorian period for my dissertation and have designed many Victorian period plays, so the new setting should be like revisiting somewhere familiar.
January 24th 2015
Current Blog Tour for Shadow on the Highway
January 24th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading
January 25th: Book Excerpt and Giveaway @ Laura’s Interests
January 26th: Promo Post @ Underneath the Covers
January 27th: Book Review, Excerpt and Giveaway @ 100 Pages A Day
January 29th: Book Excerpt and Giveaway @Word Menagerie
January 30th: Author Interview and Giveaway @ View from the Birdhouse
January 31st: Promo Post @ Nat’s Book Nook
January 15th 2015
Historical novels take a long time to research and write, but I am working away on my newest one, based around the Diary of Samuel Pepys, a fascinating document that I have used often in my research for my other books.
The novel has just gone off to my agent for her feedback, and then there will probably be more editing before it goes to a publisher. After that, more edits and polishing from the publisher, so it could be a while before it hits the bookshelves. I have really enjoyed working on it though, and analysing the characters from the famous Diary for inclusion in the novel.
Fuelled by PG Tips and chocolate brownies, I am also working on the second Highway novel, ‘Spirit of the Highway’, which will be quicker to get to the shelves as its publication will be primarily digital. Meanwhile, do click through to my blog where I will update you with progress, and give you insights into the growing manuscript and emptying biscuit tin!
October 3rd 2014
Blogger Reviews for Shadow on the Highway
I’m delighted with the bloggers responses to Shadow on the Highway.
‘Shadow on the Highway is an exciting peek into the English Civil War from both sides of the fighting as well as from the viewpoint of those left at home to fend for themselves. I was impressed with how the author was able to highlight the greed and corruption on both sides of this coin and how this English war ripped apart families and communities… I very much look forward to the next two books in this trilogy! Historical Tapestry
‘Definitely something I’d recommend to younger fans of historical fiction’ – Flashlight Commentary Blog
‘rich with characterization and wonderful historical details’ – Unabridged Chick Blog
‘I really like the authors writing style, she managed to captured the essence of this time period through her vivid descriptions showing the effects this war had on its citizens. The storyline was interesting and unique, how slowly over the course of this book the mystery of Abi’s deafness is revealed. Along with how she ended up being a maid in the first place. How Katherine turned into Kate and fell for Abi’s brother. There is a lot going on here but in a good way. Mystery, a touch of romance, hidden agendas, friendship, commitment, manipulation and more.’ Just One More Chapter
‘The adventure, intrigue, suspicion, and covert operations in this book really propel this book forward…Swift brings layers of historical and imaginative detail to her stories and I highly recommend as a light read for any adult and for teenagers interested into foraying into historical fiction.’ Hook of a Book Blog
‘Take a great main character and a fantastically mysterious historical figure and you have a lot of action waiting for you in this book.’ A Bookish Affair Blog
‘Shadow on the Highway is an awesome work of YA historical fiction. I sometimes shy away from YA because it feels really immature but this book did not have that feel at all. It is definitely my new favorite Deborah Swift book!’ So Many Books So Little Time Blog
STOP PRESS! ‘Shadow on the Highway’, about the Highwaywoman Lady Katherine Fanshawe has just been published by Endeavour Press!
‘This book is a wonderful look into the life of one young woman. Part drama, part edge of your seat action, and part historical hodgepodge. Shadow On The Highway is a read that is sure to entertain, intrigue, and inspire’. – See more
Shadow on the Highway is out already! You can purchase it here
I will be starting a blog tour soon, meanwhile, here is the back cover copy –
Abigail Chaplin has always been unable to find a position as a maidservant like other girls, because she is deaf. So why do the rich Fanshawes of Markyate Manor seem so anxious to employ her? And where exactly does her mistress, Lady Katherine, ride out to at night?
I’ve just signed a contract with Endeavour Press for my novel for Teens and Adults – ‘Shadow on the Highway.’ I hope this will be the first in a trilogy of shorter novels set during the English Civil War. I have an outline written for the second book of the three and will start drafting it as soon as my current big book is finished. The big book is a novel based around the world of Pepys’s Diary.
I’m delighted to have received my Audio and Large Print copies of A Divided Inheritance in the post. It is a strange experience listening to your book being read by someone else – especially a skilled actress who can do all the voices so well! I have enjoyed listening to the book enormously. Ihave two extra copies which I don’t need for my own collection, so those will be going to my local library.
I’ve finished my tour of libraries now and would like to extend a big thank you to Helen Towers of Cumbria County Libraries for arranging my visits, and to all the libraries that hosted me. I had a great time meeting readers and chatting about my books, but now its back to work on my next novel – more news soon!
Just back from a wonderful holiday where I enjoyed warm sunshine, Thai hospitality, and a break from writing. Now I am back, I’m spending some time reading and researching my next novel, based around the world of the Diary of Samuel Pepys. I am spending a lot of time with maps and with archives to uncover more about the characters in the Diary. There is so much detail there – almost overwhelming. Such a great legacy. And of course you can now find the diary online at http://www.pepysdiary.com/
Whilst I was away there was another great review for A Divided Inheritance from The Examiner, you can find it here
A Divided Inheritance is still getting one or two great reviews from the blog tour which started before Christmas. Here’s the latest one : ‘A Divided Inheritance is a fantastic piece of historical fiction that would appeal not only to fans of the genre but also readers who love strong female characters, sword-fighting, and of course, stories about love.’ 5 stars – Luxury Reading Blog
My next library visit will be Millom Library on 13th February – hope the snow holds off, or I’ll need my boots!
The Large Print rights and the Audio rights have been sold to a Divided Inheritance. I’m thrilled about the audio version because it means people who cannot read for one reason or another will be able to listen to the book on audio.
The blog tour is well under way now and I have had some fantastic reviews. I have also been out this week to Heysham Library to talk to their book group who are celebrating 50 meetings this week. I enjoyed a nice cup of tea and a cake with them, and was excited to see my other books being read in large print by some group members. I was able to tell them that A Divided Inheritance will also be available in Large Print – good news!
Latest Review from the Bookish Libraria: http://abookishlibraria.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/a-divided-inheritance-by-deborah.html
‘This was a surprising novel — the arc of the story is so much greater, more rich, than the blurb allows …this book races every moment, and I couldn’t put it down.’ http://unabridged-expression.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/a-divided-inheritance-by-deborah-swift.html
I’m looking forward very much to the launch of A Divided Inheritance on 24th October. The paperback looks beautiful with gold curlicues and a fancy swept sword hilt on the back. The inside design is also gorgeous and in keeping with my other two books.
The Kindle version is already available. Various talks and events are in the pipeline for this – check the events page for details.
Castles, Customs and Kings – A great anthology featuring many of my blog posts with English Historical Fiction Authors is available now, including my posts on Tudor Christmas Gifts, Seventeenth Century Gardens, and Fabrics and Costumes of the Seventeenth Century.
The Historical Novel Society Short Story Competition Anthology, Beggar at the Gate and other Stories has just been released and features my shortlisted story, ‘A Dog’s Life.’ All the stories are well-worth reading and show in miniature what vibrant field historical fiction offers the reader.