I’m a delver into archives, drinker of too much tea, and a lover of antiques and old buildings. Whilst you are reading this, I’m probably tapping away on my keyboard surrounded by my books and research. Our sturdy, stone-built house used to be the village primary school, and from my window I have a view of a few 17th century cottages, and behind those, green fields dotted with grazing sheep. This peaceful picture is often the opposite of what is unfolding on the page in front of me because storytelling thrives on conflict. And characters. And of course you, the reader.
Historical fiction was a natural choice for me as a writer because I always enjoyed the research aspect of design – poking about in archives and museums, not to mention the attraction of boned bodices and the excuse to visit old and interesting buildings!
I live close to the glorious countryside of the Lake District and divide my time between teaching and writing. When I’m not at work I love to walk and explore the landscape around my home – the lakes, the mountains and the sea.
My books are often an exploration of ideas I am passionate about.
In ‘The Lady’s Slipper’ I was interested in how we preserve and conserve the natural environment, and how nature mysticism might have something in common with more organised religions, such as the early Quakers.
In ‘The Gilded Lily’ I examine ideas of beauty, and find that pressures to be beautiful in the Restoration period have much in common with today.
‘A Divided Inheritance’ was a one woman’s journey into the male world of sword-fighting, and also a journey to one of the least known atrocities of the 17th century, an incident which I think deserves a much wider mention. All three books are published by Pan Macmillan.
A young adult series, The Highway Trilogy, (published by Endeavour Press) is designed to introduce younger readers to historical fiction and also to a period full of social, political and religious upheaval – The English Civil Wars.
My WW2 novel Past Encounters is published by Sapere Books.
A new trilogy based on the women in Pepys’ Diary is published by Accent Press.
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