I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to announce that Affinity has agreed to publish another one of my novels – and it is part of a series!
When I began writing Starting Over, my debut novel, I had no idea I would go on to write a second and then, believe it or not, a third. OMG – a trilogy! (That was my sister’s reaction.)
The storylines for the second book, Arc Over Time, came into my mind almost immediately after I’d finished Starting Over. And not long after that one ended, I started thinking about the third, which is currently titled Carved in Stone – which were the last three words in Arc Over Time.
The impetus for the main storyline in Carved in Stone was the plans for the re-burial of Richard III’s bones. The city of Leicester laid on an impressive ceremony, which was televised – finally giving the much-maligned king a public send off worthy of his status. Benedict Cumberbatch, a distant relative, read out the poem written for the occasion by our Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy – which I found very moving – particularly this line: “Grant me the carving of my name.”
My story involves a royal personage whose bones are discovered at a remote hilltop farm in the first book, Starting Over. I was fortunate to come across an historical figure not much is known about, so I could make things up. She disappears from view after losing power, and nothing is known about where she ended her days. So, a farm on the moors above Huddersfield in West Yorkshire seemed as good a place as any.
In Arc Over Time, the bones and other artefacts are being displayed at the British Museum. As part of the exhibition, life-like 3D heads are created of the queen and her female lover. (Another departure from historical record, but something worth exploring, I thought.)
In Carved in Stone, Ellie Winters, the owner of the farm where the bones were found, becomes entranced by the image of the queen and starts to have conversations with her.
Historians haven’t been kind to this woman who was leader of the largest tribe in Britain in the first century. And she, too, it seems, feels she deserves to have a lasting monument; for her remains to be treated with dignity and honour.
I’m pleased this story is being published as I feel it completes the journey that began in Starting Over. As with the first two books, Carved in Stone is also a rollercoaster ride for the characters. And writing this book gave me the chance to give Jo Bright Flame – the owner of the camper van and a dog called Harry – an opportunity to find love, as she hadn’t had much luck in that department in the first two books.
Another cause for celebration this week: I was notified that Arc Over Time has been nominated for a Goldie award in the Dramatic/General Fiction category! I really had an amazing time at this year’s GCLS conference and I have already booked for next year.
The podcast of my interview with London-based author Clare Lydon is now live on the My Lesbian Radio website. Clare is a brilliant interviewer and I really enjoyed our conversation. During the interview we covered a lot of the usual topics concerned with writing and how I got started, but somehow veered into visiting sex shops with my mother. With that out of the way, Clare asked if I planned to work in either of my hobbies – golf and archery – into my stories. I had to say they haven’t really featured yet. So, I’ll leave you with a photo of this fine sculpture of an archer, taken during a visit to Helmsley Castle this summer.
If you haven’t read them yet, here are the links to my first two books: