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Writing in Multi-Viewpoint

Posted on 19th October, 2019

All writers have their own style of writing, their preferred way to tell their stories. It can take a while for you to develop your own style, and very likely you'll be inspired by and emulate others along the way, but once you've found your own voice, you know it and you never look back.

 

One feature of my preferred style is the multi-viewpoint story, and here's why:

 

Advantages of multi-viewpoint:

 

It enables me to show the reader something that the hero/ine doesn't know. For example, in The Deserter's Daughter, having Ralph as a viewpoint character means that the reader sees not only all the personal things about him that Carrie is unaware of, but also, increasingly, the dangerous situation that she is in. This increases tension and draws the reader more deeply into the story, as s/he worries on Carrie's behalf.

 

Multi-viewpoint can also be used to great dramatic effect on the "meanwhile, in another part of the forest" principle; in other words, by shifting from one part of the plot to another at the crucial moment. In the book I recently finished working on, there is a dramatic rescue going on at the same time as an important secret is revealed elsewhere. By switiching between these two events, I hope to keep readers glued to the story.

 

 

But multi-viewpoint isn't just for cranking up the tension. It also enables me to explore several characters in depth. For me, the way characters grow and change according to their experiences, is essential to a story, both as a writer and as a reader.

 

For example, the character of Evadne in The Deserter's Daughter would have been far less interesting if the book had been wriiten in Carrie's single viewpoint and I hadn't been able to show all the twists and turns of Evadne's ambition, snobbery and desperation.

Whose viewpoint to use:

 

Quite honestly, I find the choice almost always comes naturally. It's a question of what do I want the reader to know at this point and how do I want them to feel about it.

 

But if there is any doubt as to which character to choose, a piece of advice I was once given was to ask: Who has the most to lose? You can see how this could create a compelling scene. Equally, though, you could ask: Who has the most to gain?

 

The golden rule:

 

If you are going to write in multi-viewpoint, there is one golden rule that must never be broken.

 

Thou shalt never switch viewpoint within a scene.

 

As I write this, I am remembering an otherwise wonderful novel by one of my favourite authors, in which there was a scene where the pushy next-door neighbour, who appears in the story on just this one occasion, wants the grief-stricken hero to come round for a meal. The viewpoint character is the hero - but the author simply couldn't resist chucking in a short paragraph about what was going on in the pushy neighbour's head. Grrr!

 

Which is your writing/reading preference - single viewpoint or multi?

 

Chatting About The Surplus Girls

Posted on 6th October, 2019

For anyone who missed my blog interview with Tara Greaves on her After The Rain Comes Sunshine website, here it is:

 

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Can you tell us about Polly Heron and why you chose a pen name?

As Polly, I will be writing the same sort of book I write as Susanna Bavin – family sagas in which the reader joins the heroine as she faces up to challenges provided by the social, legal and financial constraints of the day. As Susanna, I have written four stand-alone novels, but as Polly I will be writing a series set in the early 1920s for Corvus, which is the commercial fiction imprint of Atlantic Books. When a saga writer writes for a new publisher, it is normal practice to use a different name – unless you are terrifically famous, of course!

 

Why did you decide to share the news and not keep it a secret?

Corvus felt it was only right for my Susanna Bavin readers to have the chance to carry on reading my books. Saga readers aren’t at all fazed by an author’s having more than one name. For example, Mary Wood also writes as Maggie Mason and Margaret Graham is Milly Adams.

 

Tell us about the series you are writing for Corvus.

Both the series and the first book are called The Surplus Girls. The real surplus girls were that generation of young women whose possible husbands lost their lives in the Great War. These girls grew up expecting to get married, but now they faced life on their own, which included the need to support themselves. In The Surplus Girls, my heroine Belinda attends a newly-formed business school so she can learn office skills and find work with better conditions and higher pay than her factory job. The business school, and the two ladies who run it, provide one of the links between the books.

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Do the books have to be read in order?

Yes and no! Each book has its own heroine and the book is primarily her story. But there is also on on-going story unfolding regarding Prudence and Patience Hesketh, who run the school, and this continues from book to book, though I have divided their story into sections. Each section is complete in itself and appears in a different book. So, as with any series, while it is better to read the books in order, I have taken great care to write them in such a way that a reader could pick up, say, book 2 without having read book 1 and it would make perfect sense.

 

How do you organise your work?

The Surplus Girls was written while I still had a day job. It took five months of writing in the evenings and at weekends. Mind you, I did get off to a flying start with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I do NaNo every year and on that occasion, The Surplus Girls was my project. I wrote just over 50,000 words in a month – the first time I had achieved that.

 

Since then I have become a full-time writer and I have developed a routine that works well for me. I set myself a word count target for the month, which I divide up into working weeks. The monthly target might vary. For example, last month it was 35,000 words and I wrote 38,000. This month my target is lower – 25,000 words – because I know I have to make time for copy edits.

 

Can you share something that you have learned as a published author?

Yes – it’s amazingly difficult to write a successful blurb! If other authors are anything like me, they get asked to produce a possible blurb, which they do and they think it is perfectly all right… whereupon their editor works wonders and transforms it into something lively and appealing, with a sense of immediacy. It’s a skill I’d love to have.

 

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Polly's website  

 

Polly's author page on Amazon 

 

Two important characters in The Surplus Girls – both the book and the series – are Prudence and Patience Hesketh, a pair of middle-aged spinster sisters, who set up a business school to train surplus girls in office skills so they can aspire to better jobs. That makes the Heskeths sound altruistic, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s part of a plot to ensure they can hang onto the family home, from which their not-so-dear brother wants to oust them so he can move in with his family.

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Prudence and Patience have been imaginary companions of mine for a long time. They first popped into my head in 1990 or ’91. In those days, they were the middle-aged spinster daughters of an impoverished country rector in Victorian times. I ended up not writing that particular book, but the Hesketh sisters hung around in my mind and a couple of years later I wrote the first version of what20 years afterwards – became The Poor Relation.

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In its first incarnation, The Poor Relation was set in the 1930s and Prudence and Patience were middle-aged spinster sisters with a very much younger half-sister, who was the heroine. Incidentally, if you have read The Poor Relation, the hero was Eleanor’s grown-up son.

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The trouble with that 1930s book was that I knew so much about the characters’ lives before the story started and it was all relevant to the plot… so I wrote another book, telling the tale of the previous generation – though I set it in Edwardian times rather than going back into the 19th century. At this point, the story began to look a bit more like the eventual The Poor Relation.

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In this version, Prudence and Patience, for once, weren’t middle-aged but were youngsters. Although the book was fine in many ways, it wasn’t right, so I wrote another version, still in Edwardian times, but with Prudence now aged 23.

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It wasn’t until 23-year-old Prudence Hesketh morphed into 23-year-old Mary Maitland that everything finally fell into place and The Poor Relation was written.

 

What next for the Hesketh sisters? Well, they went back to being middle-aged spinster sisters, only this time in the 1940s…. and there they stayed until The Surplus Girls came along and took them into the 1920s, and finally I had found the right book for them.

 

 

As sisters, they are very different. Prudence is critical and judgemental, someone who doesn’t suffer fools, and if she is hard on other people, she is harder on herself. But there are reasons behind her being the way she is. Patience, by contrast, is the gentle one, a kindly soul who has spent her life acting as family peacemaker. Comparing herself to Prudence, Patience sees herself as the weak one, but her strength lies in her compassion and understanding.

 

At the start of The Surplus Girls, the sisters’ father dies. They go into the solicitor’s office, confident that they know what Pa’s will says, and leave a while later, with every aspect of their lives thrown to the four winds. It isn’t just the surplus girls who need to make plans for their future – these two middle-aged spinsters do too.

 

I hope you will enjoy their part of the story and will cheer them on as they embark on their battle with their brother.

 

As for me, I am delighted that I have finally given them what feels like their right and proper home within the pages of a book.

 

And a word of advice to writers – never throw anything away. It will get used in the end!

 

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The Surplus Girls  

UK Kindle           UK paperback

 

US Kindle          Canadian Kindle          Australian Kindle

 

 

The Poor Relation 

UK Kindle         UK paperback   

 

US Kindle       Canadian Kindle     Australian Kindle  

 

Introducing Polly Heron

Posted on 14th September, 2019

I said on my Welcome page a while ago that I would have some exciting news to share with you in the middle of September. Here it is at last - I am delighted to tell you that in future I will also be writing as Polly Heron.

 

My first book as Polly is called The Surplus Girls and will be published by Corvus Atlantic on January 2nd 2020 in paperback and e-book formats.

 

(This picture is the publishing information in The Bookseller, which is the trade periodical of the book industry.)

 

Who were the surplus girls?

The Great War wiped out a generation of young men and left behind a generation of young women who faced life without the probability of marriage, at a time when any girl left on the shelf rapidly became an old maid and no working woman could hope to earn what could be earned by a man. These were the ‘surplus girls’ – young women who had grown up assuming they would get married, but whose assumptions were dashed by the War; young women who, unexpectedly and without preparation, faced a lifetime of work and spinsterhood.

 

The Surplus Girls is a family saga set in 1922, four years after the end of the Great War. The heroine is Belinda, who got engaged at 15 to Ben, who died near the end of the war. Now Belinda is approaching 21 and, although she will always hold Ben in a special place in her heart, she knows it is time for her to move on. But how can she, when Ben’s mother and grandmother, whom she lives with, are still deep in mourning? As for Belinda’s own family – well, her father has lost more jobs than you can shake a stick at, and her mother, worn down with shame, is clingy and demanding.

 

When Belinda joins a secretarial class to try to better herself, little does she imagine that it will open up a whole new world to her. For not only does she learn to type, but she meets the beguiling bookshop owner Richard Carson... and falls head over heels in love. But who is this man to whom she has entrusted with her heart, and what does he really want?

 

I hope you like the sound of The Surplus Girls. I loved writing it and I hope you will want to read Belinda's story.

 

Links:

 

The Surplus Girls on Kindle at:

 

Amazon UK       Amazon US       Amazon Canada       Amazon Australia 

 

The Surplus Girls  in paperback 

 

Polly Heron’s website

 

Polly Heron’s author page on Amazon

 

 

A few days ago, Karen Mace, who runs the Books And Me book blog, published her review of A Respectable Woman and declared that “I... have taken the character of Nell to my heart.” It is a sentiment that appears in many of the book’s reviews and it set me wondering why it is that readers like Nell so much.

 

At the start of the book, Nell is just another down-trodden back-street housewife, stretching every penny as far as she can, to try to make up for her husband Stan’s propensity for chucking his money away over the bar on the King’s Head… At least, that’s what Nell assumes he is doing with his wages.

 

Nell had a tough time before she met Stan and I’m sure that readers feel for her, as they learn about how she lost her brothers and her sister in the Great War, after which her darling mother simply gave up and soon passed away herself, leaving Nell not just having to fend for herself at the tender age of 16, but also to question why she wasn’t reason enough for her mother to carry on living.

 

Do readers feel sorry for Nell because of this? Maybe.

 

But being sorry for a character isn’t enough to make you keep reading or to make you, in Karen’s words, take that character to your heart. So what is it about Nell?

 

Well, I think it’s to do with the way she handles her misfortunes. She has to cope with various difficulties throughout the book and she tackles them head on, with forthrightness, honesty and an unshakable resolve to do the best she possibly can for her Alf and Cassie, her children.

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   * * * * the audio book cover * * * *

 

She may seem tough on the outside, but that is because her life has forced her to be strong and independent. Certainly, marriage to Stan has forced her to think for herself. At one point in the story, Nell observes her friend Leonie receiving help from a mutual friend and sees that, as close as the two of them are and as much as they love one another, one very basic difference between her and Leonie is that Leonie’s long and happy marriage has encouraged her to see nothing wrong in leaning on a man and letting him make decisions for her.

 

 

 

   * * * * the large print cover * * * *

Marriage to Stan, on the other hand, has taught Nell to be independent. In fact, I did consider calling the book An Independent Woman, but that title had already been used more than once.

 

So Nell is decisive and independent. If something needs doing, she does it. But is that enough to make readers so fond of her?

 

I think it’s an important part of what readers see and appreciate in her; but I think that it’s the combination of this plus her love for her children that is the real secret of Nell’s success as a character. However resolute she has to be on the outside, on the inside she is pure mush where her beloved children are concerned. Everything she does springs from a desire to give them the best life she can.

 

And then, of course, there is Nell’s secret. Everyone in the book believes her to be a widow, a fiction she is forced to maintain in order for her to be regarded as a woman of respectability and for her children not to have fingers pointed at them.

 

Alf and Cassie are Nell’s greatest source of joy. Her devotion to them is both her deepest strength and also her Achilles’ heel – and ultimately leads to her greatest challenge.

 

hardback, paperback & e-book cover

 

If you have read A Respectable Woman, I wonder if you agree with me about Nell. And what do you think of An Independent Woman as a title for Nell's story?

 

A Respectable Woman  at UK Amazon   US Amazon   Amazon Canada  Amazon Australia

                                                                           

 

Tips For Writers - Week 3

Posted on 22nd August, 2019

Welcome to Week 3 of my summer series of writing tips that originally appeared in a series called It Works For Me.

 

Julie Stock writes contemporary romance novels. Her latest book is The Bistro by Watersmeet Bridge.

 

When I'm writing a first draft, I try to write a minimum amount each day. If I am not under lots of pressure, I might make this 1,000 words a day, but if it's a busy time, I set my target to something more manageable. If I'm editing or rewriting, I find it much harder to get down to it because it's so much more involved! Still, I try to achieve something on my list of things to do every day.

 

Julie's author page on Amazon

 

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After spending some years as a highly successful writer of short stories for women's magazines, Wendy Clarke is now a novelist with two psychological thrillers under her belt.

 

Don't info dump. This is especially relevant to historical stories. Okay, so I've done my research and know everything there is to know about the Industrial Revolution or nursing in the 19th century. The magazine readers don't need to know, though... honestly they don't! I add any relevant information into my story sparingly, rather than give the reader a whole paragraph about the 1833 Factory Act or Louis Pasteur's germ theory.

 

Wendy's author page on Amazon  

 

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Emma Davies lives in beautiful Shropshire, which provides endless inspiration for her books.

 

Know your 'use it all the time' words. Everybody has these and it often takes somebody else to point them out to you - usually your editor! Mine is 'just.' - 'I just wouldn't want it any other way.' - 'I just want to ask you something.' Get to know your 'use it all the time' words and try to write without them. You'll save yourself a lot of time when you come to editing.

 

Emma's author page on Amazon 

 

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Tips For Writers - Week 2

Posted on 16th August, 2019

Welcome to the second in my summer series of writing tips. Last week’s blog had well over 100 visitors and I hope that number will increase for this and subsequent posts as word gets round.

Karen Coles (writing as K E Coles) is the author of the Mesmeris trilogy, a darkly compelling tale about a malign religious sect.

"Whether at the first draft, revision or editing stage, my main rule is to always have a pen and paper handy wherever I go – on a journey, in the bath, next to my bed, in the kitchen etc. I often go through scenes in my head while doing other things (mostly when cooking, oddly), and have imaginary conversations. I have to write them down immediately as the wording is usually much better and more natural than if I try to recall it later. I write both on the laptop and on paper, but when writing a totally new scene, the ideas seem to flow better on paper. I’m not the greatest typist so often spell things wrongly and have to amend them, which takes me out of the story."

 

Karen's Amazon page

 

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Ros Rendle writes historical sagas and contemporary romance.

 

"I’m not a major plotter but I always make myself write down a rough outline and allocate the number of chapters to each section, ensuring that by 25% or 50% etc. of the way through I have the correct structure in place – more or less. After that the plot and the characters tend to drive the story. At the end when I come to editing I’ll add whatever or take out the bits that detract. Taking out is hard of course but I’m better at surrendering those for good writing these days."

 

Ros's website  

 

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Margaret Kaine has written sagas about life in the Potteries between the 1950s and the 1970s, as well as Edwardian novels.

 

"Once I've completed a chapter, I find it invaluable to read it aloud. I wait until the house is empty, then project my voice as if I'm reading to an audience. This seems to work better than reading quietly, in revealing repetitions, flat passages, or whether the writing flows or lacks pace. I then edit immediately. After several days I read the chapter aloud again, before a final polish."

 

Margaret's Amazon page

 

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Sharon Booth is a prolific indie-writer of contemporary romance and romantic comedy.

 

"Never, ever throw away old writing. Seriously. You might feel you've written total garbage that is only fit for the recycle bin, but one day you may stumble across something you've forgotten about, and look at it in wonder, realising it's exactly what you need for the new book you're working on. So hang onto your old stuff, even if you think it's the worst thing you've ever read, because you could reread it, awestruck at your amazing talent."

 

Sharon's Amazon page

 

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Jessica Redland writes contemporary romance. She has recently signed with Boldwood Books.

 

"Don't get obsessed with Amazon positions or reviews. It's great to know how you're doing in the charts, but your book can fluctuate massively from one day to the next. Don't worry if it suddenly drops 80,000 places, because it might rise 85,000 the next day! As for reviews, read and enjoy the good ones and learn from the bad ones if they're written constructively. If they aren't, ignore them! Mind you, that's probably easier said than done. At the time of writing, I haven't had less than a 4-star review and I'm sure my first 1- or 2-star will have me sobbing bucket-loads, but I will remind myself that it's just one person's opinion and there's a stack of other people who loved it!"

 

Jessica's Amazon page

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That’s it for this week’s writing tips. I hope you found something that strikes a chord and that will help with your own writing. Or, if you aren’t a writer, I hope you enjoyed this insight into the writing process.

 

See you again next week with more ideas.

 

Tips For Writers - Week 1

Posted on 8th August, 2019

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”

W Somerset Maugham

 

Writers are always seeking advice and there is an abundance of it out there – websites, blogs, workshops, courses, magazines and How To books. Writers are always on the look-out for ideas that will help them improve their craft. When you find a practice that works for you, it becomes one of your personal writing rules.

 

Back in 2016, I ran a series of blogs called It Works For Me, in which I invited writer friends to share their personal writing rules with the rest of us. Over the next few weeks, I am going to revisit some of those rules and post them here for writers who missed the series first time round and especially for new writers who are looking for some support.

 

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Let’s start with Jan Baynham, who has recently signed a three-book deal with Ruby Fiction. Her debut novel, Whispering Olive Trees, will be published next year.

 

Write first, edit later:

This was very hard for me to learn but it worked when I attempted NaNoWriMo for the first time. My novel-in-progress was taking forever and whenever I started writing, I'd go back and change things. Once I adopted this rule, the story seemed to flow and I was able to immerse myself in the book, get to know my characters and thoroughly enjoy the process of writing. I may have made editing harder but unless there's a story to edit, I won't know!

 

https://twitter.com/JanBayLit 

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Linda Huber writes psychological suspense novels under her own name and romance novels as Melina Huber.

 

Keep a list of over-used words and expressions.
You know, things like: just, that, really, only, actually, surely etc etc. My characters also have a terrible habit of wincing, frowning, sighing, raising their eyebrows, and gripping each other’s elbows… They pull faces quite a lot too. I don’t worry about this while I’m writing, but when the first draft is finished I go back and check through the list – easy with the ‘find’ function on Word.

 

https://twitter.com/LindaHuber19 

 

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Kate Field writes contemporary romance novels. Her debut novel, The Magic of Ramblings,won the RNA’s Joan Hessayon Award.

 

Character Names Are Crucial

I can’t start writing until I know the full names of the main characters – and they have to be the right names. I once tried to write a short story and struggled to move past the first page. Changing the name of the heroine solved the problem: she took on a new identity with her new name, and I understood where her story needed to go.

 

I spend a long time mulling over names. I usually start by looking on the internet at the most popular baby names for the years around which the character was born. Other good sources are TV credits, newspapers and magazines.

 

https://twitter.com/katehaswords 

 

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Jen Gilroy is the Canadian author of the Firefly Lake trilogy. Her latest novel, The Wishing Tree in Irish Falls, will be published in October.

 

Take small steps towards a big goal

 

I’ve wanted to be a published author since childhood, but it was only in February 2009 that I started working seriously towards that goal, and set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) goals along the way.

 

It took six and a half years, multiple manuscripts, and numerous rejections before my agent called to tell me that she’d sold The Cottage at Firefly Lake. Although I persevered to reach my big goal, I got there in part because I set a multitude of small goals. Those small steps in my writing journey included submitting manuscripts each year to the RNA NWS for critique, entering writing contests, and becoming active on Twitter to connect with other writers.

 

https://twitter.com/JenGilroy1 

 

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I hope you have enjoyed this insight into what makes these writers tick and maybe you’ve found a writing tip that strikes a chord with you. If you have, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you – and so would Jan, Linda, Kate and Jen.

 

 

When a writer starts getting reviews and other feedback on a new book, there can be some surprises in store. For example, there might be one character whom everyone seems to latch onto and love. In my latest book, The Poor Relation, this has happened with Helen Rawley. So what makes this crotchety old lady special to my readers?

Well, it can’t be that she’s a nice person, because she definitely isn’t. Helen Rawley is a spiky individual, with a waspish tongue, who is quick to make judgements and who makes a habit of alienating the very people she most wants to be close to. She isn’t above a spot of manipulation when she sees the need – hence her scheme to get her great-niece Eleanor assigned to her as companion-help. And she doesn’t appreciate being thwarted – hence her unpleasantness, even one or two moments of cruelty, towards Mary when Mary is sent to her instead.

 

She doesn’t sound like a character with much appeal, does she?

 

So what is it that readers have latched onto? At the outset, I think they feel a certain sympathy for her. Helen is an elderly lady who never married. The story is set in 1908-1909, so most of Helen’s life was spent in the Victorian years as the spinster in a well-to-do family, dependent first upon her father and then upon her brother for the roof over her head and the food on her table; also for her dress allowance – hence her glee in buying glamorous under-garments and presenting her starchy brother with the bill.

 

When her father died many years previously, he effectively left Helen in his will to her brother Robert, who henceforward was responsible for her care and well-being. It wasn’t exactly a match made in heaven. Robert did his duty, but, as Helen was all too well aware, he enjoyed being in a position of power over her.

 

As it says in the book:

"Robert had called her a chattel. 'The old man left me all his goods and chattels, including Helen here.' He would wave the stem of his pipe in her direction, inviting his dinner companions to enjoy the joke; but beneath the chuckle lay something more, a suggestion of pleasure and power."

 

At the start of The Poor Relation, Robert has died and once again Helen has been left to a male relative – this time to her nephew Greg, who is the very last person on whom she would wish to be dependent.

 

As Helen says, ‘God knows, I hated my brother at times, but I never once felt vulnerable. Ever since the reading of the will, I’ve been apprehensive. The will may be watertight, but he (Greg) feels no obligation.’

 

And she is right to be apprehensive – as the reader soon learns.

 

But it isn’t because of feeling sorry for her that readers like her. They enjoy her crochety character because her flaws make her real. And they like her spirit. As the story progresses, the extent of Helen’s dogged determination is revealed. Kept very much in her place by her brother, and ignored by Lady Kimber, the leading light of local society, Helen has never enjoyed a place in the world of dinner parties and at homes. She even has to undertake her charitable works in secrecy and let someone else take the credit for them – something that she finds deeply galling.

 

One of the themes of the book is the way women were regarded both socially and legally. With everything Helen Rawley has had to contend with throughout her life, a lesser person might have lapsed into being a downtrodden doormat. But not Miss Rawley. As one reviewer said of her, ‘had she been born a decade or so later, (she) would have been among those publicly fighting for women’s rights, I’m sure’ – because, above all else, Helen Rawley is a woman of spirit.

 

The Poor Relation       

 

on Kindle      

 

on Kobo            

 

in hardback from Amazon     

 

in hardback from Waterstones  

 

in hardback from Allison & Busby    

 

pre-order the paperback from Amazon  

            

The Poor Relation as an audiobook, read by Julia Franklin 

 

on Audible  

 

on CD or MP3 from Isis Soundings

 

 

A Week in A Writer's Life

Posted on 15th July, 2019

A week in a writer's life - well, just over a week, actually - and not a typical week either, but certainly a happy and interesting one for me.

 

It started with a visit from my dear friend Jen Gilroy, who is a Canadian writer of contemporary romances. She came to stay with us last year before the RNA (Romantic Novelists' Association) Conference but only for a couple of days. This year, she came for longer, which was perfect because it gave us plenty of talking time!

 

I took Jen to the Imperial Hotel on the promenade to have afternoon tea.

 

The paperwork in the photo is the various talks that were going to be held at the RNA Conference, but most of our time that afternoon was given over to talking about a new novel that Jen is planning. It's a real honour when a writer shares her book-plans with you.

 

To give you an idea of how engrossed we were.... We sat down at 3 o'clock and some time later, when we imagined it was about half past 5, it turned out to be 7.20!

The RNA Conference was superb. The best bit, as always was meeting up with friends. As lovely and supportive as non-writing friends can be, there is no substitute of the support of people who understand because they have the same hopes and the same problems.

 

 

 

Jen is the one standing up on the right-hand end. You will see my fellow Sister Scribes there and also Jan Baynham, who has recently signed a 3-book deal with Ruby Fiction (front row, first on the left), and Sue McDonagh, who writes for ChocLit (beside Jen).

 

 

On the last evening, everyone got dressed up for the gala dinner.

 

L - R, top: Sue McDonagh, Maddie Please, Cass Grafton, Jane Cable.

 

Seated: Kirsten Hesketh, Jan Baynham

 

And of course we had to have a Sister Scribes photo....

 

 

 

Leaving the Conference was a bit of a wrench, but it is wonderful to be home and breathing that fresh sea air.

 

On Monday morning I went for a walk around the Great Orme....

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.... and came home to find that Julie Barham, who runs the Northern Reader book blog, has posted her review of The Deserter's Daughter. 

 

Julie says:

"This saga is an intelligent and complex study of family life when desire, money, greed and fear become muddled with loss and hatred.... What makes this book so special is the way that Bavin creates a world of deceit and criminality in which the innocent suffer, and mistakes are harshly punished. As in Bavin’s other book, the research into the era is absolutely impeccable, giving not only the facts but also managing to convey the feeling of the period in so many details.... Sometimes brutal, even tragic, the hope and love which perminate this book with the basic strength of the characters means that it is difficult to put down, as tension and surprises maintain the reader’s interest. A flowing and immensely readable book, I found it a fascinating read. I was so pleased to have the opportunity to read and review this book."

 

Wow! As you can imagine, I felt quite overwhelmed when I read this.

 

The Deserter's Daughter is currently available in these formats:

 

£1.90 on UK Kindle 

 

£2.00 in paperback at Amazon UK  

 

£2.00 in paperback at The Works (also part of the 3 paperbacks for £5.00 deal)

 

£2.63 on UK Kobo 

 

$2.38 on US Kindle  

 

CDN$3.19 on Canadian Kindle  

 

$4.39 on Australian Kindle  

 

 

 

Well, there we are. That was my writing life this past week and a bit. Oh yes - one last thing. While I was at the RNA Conference, I received from my agent the edits she wants me to work on, for the book that is coming out in May 2020. I am pleased (and relieved!) to tell you that the edits are purely surface edits - which means that they are minor additions or changes that don't have a knock-on effect on the rest of the plot. Phew! So that's my next writing week taken care of....

 

If you enjoyed this glimpse of my writing life, do leave a quick comment. I'd love to hear from you.

 

See you next time.