Current Release: Rutherford Park
Describe your current release in two sentences?
The poignant and romantic story of a great English house just before the First World War. Scandal and secrets threaten both the aristocratic 'upstairs' family and the lives of the 'downstairs' staff.
Tell us a cool fact about your current release.
I grew up hearing the stories of my grandfather, who had worked at Kiplin Hall in Yorkshire as a groom. When the First World War broke out, the only son of the family enlisted, and many of the male staff followed him. I wanted to write about some of the things my mother remembered, and about my home county, Yorkshire.
What are you working on?
The sequel to this book, following the Cavendish family and their staff through the events of 1915.
Is there an author or book that has greatly influenced your writing?
So many! For historical writing, I'm a tremendous fan of Hilary Mantel; growing up I loved Daphne du Maurier. But I also love detective fiction, for sizzling plotting. Michael Connolly is a favourite.
What one food could you not live without?
Sounds a bit boring - but I love goats milk yogurt ! For a treat, I'd choose apple fritters with Calvados ice cream.
Who is your intended audience?
Anyone who loves a good story and likes to get deep into the heart of the characters.
As a reader: Do you gravitate toward buying eBook or Print?
I buy both, but I do love handling a print book. There's just something so personal about it.
Who is the coolest character in your latest book?
I am so involved with them all...I love John Gould's tenacity and Octavia's flowering as a fully-rounded woman.But I also have a soft spot for William, Lord Cavendish - he struggles to face all the changes. He's a gentle soul at heart despite his austere image.
Outside of writing - Do you have a hobby?
I passionately love painting. I have a tiny studio but my dream would be to have one purpose-built. If only!
Do you judge books by their covers?
I try not to.
Would you time jump into the past or into the future?
I would love to be in the events of my previous books - Franklin's 1845 expedition (The Ice Child), or John Donellan's trial in 1781 (The Damnation of John Donellan). As I wrote those stories, I longed to be there, to see the faces of those men and women, and to hear their voices.
What is your favorite App and why does it take first place?
I lose my phones on a regular basis, so I keep everything to a minimum. But I like those night sky ones.
I'm so grateful for the interest shown in my books. Rutherford Park has been in my head for over twenty years and I'm excited to be at last telling the story. I'm writing the second Rutherford book at the moment, and publication is scheduled for 2014.