Tuesday, 13 May 2014


 Many thanks to Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang for asking me to take part in the 'blog hop'.  Here are Rhiannon's answers:  http://rhiannonjenkinstsang.com/igetmybestideasinthebath/ Rhiannon is the author of the novel : The Woman Who Lost China.

I am honoured to take part. Who will be the next author? Find out soon...

What are you currently working on?

At the moment I'm working on a few projects. One is a chapter in a biographical book about my hero, Lord Byron, focussing on the women in his life. Each author is contributing a chapter about a different one of his lovers.
I have just started working at the Galleries of Justice Museum in Nottingham, and I'm planning to write some scripts for our tours.

Lowdham Book Festival is coming up in June and I'm giving a talk about Mary Shelley on the 'Last Saturday' (28th June). I love doing Lowdham, it's such a great festival with an amazing atmosphere. Lots of opportunity to meet the public and other authors as well.

I'm also working on my next novel which is set in the Regency (as was my first novel, Framed) but this time it follows the fortunes of a London actress, a group of Dandies, plus some of the characters from Framed...


How does your work differ from others of its genre?

Historical fiction is popular at the moment, but a lot of those novels are set in the Medieval or Tudor period. 

My first novel Framed is set in 1811-12. It's about the Nottingham Luddites, the framebreakers who smashed the new machinery that was putting them out of work. 

I write about the Regency, but I hope to give a voice to the people who are invisible in most novels set in that period. I do include upper and middle-class characters, but the people from the working class are the main characters in Framed

I'm an economical writer, preferring dramatic, shorter chapters and 'scenes' to long descriptive passages.

Why do you write what you do?

When you have the opportunity to tell a story that hasn't been told, as an author I feel compelled to tell that story. I like to entertain people and enlighten readers who maybe aren't familiar with some areas of history. 

I hope that my research helps me to accurately represent the times whilst using my imagination to fill in the 'gaps'. I love doing research; looking at documents, diaries and letters, newspapers, cartoons, paintings, reading about the people in the past and finding similarities between events in history and contemporary times. Human nature doesn't change...

How does your writing process work?

I don't have a fixed 'writing process'. As I work full-time in performance and education, I don't have many hours during the day to write; however, the pressure galvanises me into action when I do get some time. 

I have ideas at inopportune moments, often waking up in the middle of the night (usually about 3.30am for some reason...) and scribbling down notes. If I don't write an idea down immediately I know I'll forget it. If I don't have any paper or a pen to hand, I'll repeat the idea over and over in my mind until I have the opportunity to write it down. I've made notes on everything from receipts to postcards and bus tickets. I now have a little notebook in my handbag for these bursts of inspiration; on the first page there's an offer of a reward for anyone finding it if I ever lose it! 

There's a rough outline for my novel, I know what will happen to some of the characters, but not all of them. When I'm writing I like to be alone in my living room, sometimes I'll listen to music from the period (usually Beethoven) but I can work when surrounded by people if I'm really feeling inspired and confident about the plot. To get inspiration I'll google things like 'Regency medicine'. This can take me off down the most bizarre and interesting avenues. 

I live in the centre of Nottingham, so there are always people walking past, below my flat. I have a bird's eye view from my window. There are lots of dramas played out on Mansfield Road!

Please support my publisher: Open Books, by buying a copy of Framed from them. 


If you would like a signed copy, please contact me via my Facebook page, or here on my Blog and I will organise postage:


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