What are your earliest memories of writing when you were a child?
My earliest recollections of writing creatively for pleasure must have been in my mid teens when I started writing poetry and short stories. I still have some of them in my memories box!
What inspired you to write Riduna?
Well, I wrote a whole blog about this, but after several family holidays on Alderney I was fascinated to hear my Dad talk about my Great Grandmother Harriet who was born on Alderney in the mid nineteenth century. I started my research for Riduna at the same time as my parents began their family history research. Riduna is certainly fiction, but its inspiration came from thinking about what Harriet’s life must have been like. Her true story is quite a tale too!
Why Riduna? It’s not a name many people will understand.
Some people have said that the title is too obscure for people to remember and others have said that they were drawn to read the novel because the title sounded mysterious. I’ve always loved the name ‘Riduna’, the Roman name for Alderney. I can see the argument from both sides but the story has been ‘Riduna’ in my head for years. I couldn’t imagine changing it.
What have you enjoyed most about getting a book published?
Meeting people and talking to them about my writing. I’ve now done five talks, the most successful being to audiences in Bedfordshire libraries. The people have been brilliant. Book signings have been good fun too but they’ve tailed off now.
Did you receive any publicity in the press?
Yes I did as a matter of fact. I had two articles in The Luton News and three on the Channel Islands, one in The Journal (Alderney) one in The Alderney Press and another in The Guernsey Press. I never did find out if it reached The Echo in Southampton. They certainly said they’d consider doing a book review. Did anyone see it? It would be great to know.
What about reviews. Did you have any interesting ones?
I was so proud of the positive comments from The Historical Novel Society’s online reviews. This link will take you to it if you missed it back in August 2010.
You have mentioned on Twitter hoping to get the sequel out for Christmas. What happened?
I really had hoped to get my next novel out by now, but these things take time and sometimes these decisions are out of our control. I do apologise for this, but instead of feeling downhearted by the delay, I see it now that the novel will come out at the right time. (I must admit that I was less cheerful a month ago but in the end you have to be philosophical about it.) Spring 2011 is the hopeful horizon I’m looking towards at present. Many thanks for being patient.
Can you tell me something about your new novel?
In a word no. I have given a few hints along the way. You’ll just have to wait and see!
This will be my last post before the festive season and so Happy Christmas to all who celebrate Christmas and happy holidays to everyone else!