How the second novel is like a middle child

Advice to the parent writer Works of creative fiction are really like children. The first novel, aka the debut novel, is a big miracle. It’s a wondrous burst of creative energy and an absolute marvel when you finally hold the finished product in your hands. It started out as a wee kernel of an idea, and it was just you and that kernel for so long (cough…seven years). Some writers share their kernel with anyone who will ask—baristas, busboys and the counter girl in the bakery—while others keep it close to their chest until it’s nearly ready. You can get…

Sugar Production in 17th century Colonial Barbados

Part of researching my next novel, The Severed Knot, included learning about sugar production in 17th century Barbados and how this sweet substance transformed the island. Sugar wasn’t just a luxury commodity. It served as the chief form of currency on Barbados (slaves and servants were paid for in pounds of sugar) and fuelled British colonization in the Caribbean. Colonial Barbados was at the centre of the sugar trade going back to the mid-17th century and was known as the Sugar Island. Colonizing Barbados The earliest English settlement was established in 1627 through a private venture corporation headed by the Courteen…

A 17th century sugar plantation in the Caribbean #Barbados

I’ve been quiet on the blogging front as I’ve been writing a new novel that continues on the next leg of the journey on the road to the Restoration. The Severed Knot picks up on the fate of the Scottish prisoners (at least one in particular) following the Battle of Worcester and how they were transported to Barbados as indentured servants.   I find that starting a new novel can be both exhilarating and nerve wracking as I wrestle with my Muse to get the story down. One of the most enjoyable aspects of starting a new historical fiction novel is…

The HNS New Novel Award 2018

I’m especially really pleased to share with you my good news. My second novel, The Severed Knot, has been longlisted for the HNS New Novel Award 2018. Making the long list is a huge accomplishment. The Historical Novel Society is a respected literary society devoted to the promotion of historical fiction. The Severed Knot is set in the UK and Barbados during the 17th century and follows one of the characters from Traitor’s Knot after the disastrous Battle of Worcester. Here is what they had to say about my work: The Severed Knot Bleakly impossible choices face the protagonists in…

Welcome to the Dark Ages and the Land of King Arthur: Guest post by Mary Anne Yarde @maryanneyarde

If I wasn’t writing about the 17th century, I would be exploring the time of King Arthur. I’ve been drawn to the Arthurian legends for as far back as I can remember in all their variations. Today, I have the pleasure of welcoming to the blog an author whose historical fiction novels are inspired by the old Arthurian legends. Mary Anne Yarde is the author of the Du Lac Chronicles series, which is set in the turbulent era after the death of King Arthur. Mary Anne combines my favourite elements in her novels: historical fiction with romance and adventure. Including…