Category Archives: Historical Fiction

Author Jennifer Mugrage launches her novel and takes the Throw a Dice Challenge!

I’m really pleased to welcome author Jennifer Mugrage who is taking part in my

‘Throw a Dice Challenge’

but she is also launching her debut novel:

The Long Guest TODAY

on 2nd November 2020.

 

Book 1 of The Scattering Trilogy

The year is 10,000 B.C. All mankind was united in one project: to build a great city with a magnificent tower that reached to the heavens. But the tower fell; God confused their languages, and overnight, their world dissolved into unimaginable chaos ….

You can buy The Long Guest on

Amazon.com

Or in a bookshop
Jennifer Mugrage’s novel The Strange Land will be coming out early in 2021.
Here’s her answer to the challenge in order to get to know one of her characters; almost certainly not her protagonist, but one who will give us a flavour of her novels:

Tell us a bit about your chosen character Jennifer:

My character Sha is the youngest of four brothers living in a tribe of hunter/gatherers in 10,000 BC. His father is a high-status man in the tribe, but is abusive to his wife and sons.
What an unusual but fascinating period in history, Jennifer. Now
Can you reveal more about Sha by sharing some of his memories?

We throw a dice. One is the most tragic or horrific memory to a six which is the most fantastic:

One: Sha’s mother dies, in circumstances which cause everyone who knew her to feel guilty.
Two: Sha remembers his lousy childhood.
Three: He thinks of the painful ordeal of dragging himself out after he broke an ankle on a solo camping trip which was supposed to be his manhood ceremony.
Four: His older brother Ikash gets married. Sha is glad to see his brother so happy, but he is going to miss his best friend.
Five: Wrestling with, and confiding in, his brother when they were still kids. Good times!
Six: The chief likes Sha’s wooden sculptures, shows them to everyone, and asks him to make more!
I’m looking forward to reading the book now and finding out more about Sha and his tribe.

Tell us a bit about your novels Jennifer:

The book The Strange Land, is about the tribe’s progress over the Land Bridge. It’s the sequel to The Long Guest. Both books are coming out in rapid release!

The Long Guest is OUT NOW!

Jennifer says; Read about my fascinating research, and watch for book announcements, on my website: https://outofbabel.com .
Thank you Jennifer. Watch this space for a review of ‘The Long Guest’ shortly!
To explain why the challenge:
Diana Jackson is author of Mystery Inspired by History Series
the protagonist of her latest novel
‘MISSING Past and Present ~ Is Life Just a Roll of a Dice’
rolls a dice to relive her memories. 

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Filed under Book reading, Events, Guest author, Historical Fiction, Marketing your novel

Author David Ebsworth takes up the ‘Throw a Dice Challenge!’

I’m really pleased to welcome author David Ebsworth who is taking part in my

‘Throw a Dice Challenge’

David Ebsworth’s latest and ninth novel is the final part of the Yale Trilogy about a 17th century nabob philanthropist and slave trader  Elihu Yale, but it is told through the eyes of Yale’s wife, Catherine. David was inspired to write the series when he came across a copy of Yale’s will, with the memorable line: “To my wicked wife…” And then, nothing. No bequest. Not even her name.

                    Click for Amazon UK

Tell us a bit about one of your characters David:

In the year 1728, Catherine Hynmers Yale is in her seventy-seventh year. She has wealth derived from her long association with the English East India Company and she has tragically outlived all but two of her nine children. Yet now she knows there are few days left to her. 

What an exciting period in history David but very controversial in today’s world. Now can you reveal more about Catherine by sharing some of her memories?

 

 

We throw a dice. One is the most tragic or horrific memory to a six which is the most fantastic or beautiful memory:

 
One: The horrific death of her third-born, little Walter, at the East India Company’s outpost in Madras, and the endless nightmare that the babe may have been buried alive.
 
Two: The loss, when she was still a small girl, of all the family possessed – including her father’s coffee house in London’s Great Fire, and the destitution that followed.
 
Three: The multiple betrayals, in her later life, that led to her brutal incarceration in the Bethlem Hospital.
Four: Her joyous return, in 1689, to a London rebuilt, and her reunion with her family.
 
Five: The birth of her first-born in 1670, and the mantras taught to her by her Hindu friend and mentor, Sathiri – the power of which have served her through all her subsequent trials.
Six: After the comfort of her first marriage to Joseph Hynmers, and the disaster of her second to Elihu Yale, there has been the magic of the passion she once shared with Matthew Parrish.

Here’s More About the author and his writing

David Ebsworth was born in Liverpool but has lived in Wrexham, North Wales, for the past 40 years. He began writing full-time after he retired in 2008.

David Ebsworth’s stories – often with strong female protagonists – cover the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, the Spanish Civil War, Zululand in 1879, the Napoleonic Hundred Days of 1815 and 6th Century Romano-Celtic Britain.

The first part of the Yale Trilogy, The Doubtful Diaries of Wicked Mistress Yale, follows Catherine’s early misadventures at the East India Company outpost in old Madras …

while the second, Mistress Yale’s Diaries, The Glorious Return, sees her back in London with her children during the 1690s and embroiled in all the turmoil and intrigue following the Glorious Revolution.

But now, the third and final part – Wicked Mistress Yale, The Parting Glass:1700 and East India Company Governor Elihu Yale is back in London, seemingly intent on reconciliation with his wife Catherine after ten years of separation. But those ten years have given her a taste of independence that she’s not ready to easily surrender. The ghosts of her previous life continue to haunt her, however – yet another former foe returned with her husband and seemingly is still intent on revenge. A more evil enemy still, in the shape of that Jacobite Colonel John Porter, who had caused such damage to her youngest daughter. Drawn back even further into espionage on behalf of her nation, Catherine must battle madness, her desires, the rifts in her family, riot, rebellion and assassination in this tumultuous third and final act of the Yale Trilogy.

David’s special offer:

I’m currently offering a free kindle copy of the first part, The Doubtful Diaries of Wicked Mistress Yale, to anybody who might be interested in reading it and, if they like it, possibly posting a short review on Amazon, Goodreads etc. All I need is their kindle e-mail address and to let me know whether they’re in the UK, USA, etc. But don’t worry about that bit if it’s a nuisance.

Best regards

David Ebsworth ~ Writer of historical fiction

_Out now – Part Three of the Yale Trilogy.

“Shades of James Clavell’s  Shogun and Winston Graham’s  Poldark.”

All three parts available through normal outlets.

http://www.davidebsworth.com/doubtful-diaries-wicked-mistress-yale

http://www.davidebsworth.com/mistress-yales-diaries-glorious-return

Thanks for taking part in my ‘Dice of Memories Challenge’ David. 

Diana Jackson is author of Mystery Inspired by History Series
the protagonist of her latest novel
‘MISSING Past and Present ~ Is Life Just a Roll of a Dice’
rolls a dice to relive her memories. 

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Filed under Book reading, Events, Guest author, Historical Fiction, Marketing your novel, Reading a novel

Margaret Skea ~ 5th of my Summer Special Interviews with Successful Indie Authors

Portrait

I’m so pleased to have this interview with author Margaret Skea which is aimed to appeal to writers, fans and potential readers alike. Margaret is a successful Indie Author of Historical Fiction.

Hello Margaret, thank you for joining us today,

Do you mind me asking, was the success in your writing career a gradual process or very sudden?

‘Fits and starts’ might be a better way of putting it! I dabbled in writing from a very early age – and as a child and a teenager won several local competitions – the first in a local festival when I was eight – I can still remember the first and last stanzas of the poem but not the verses in between! That was followed by several more poetry prizes when I was at secondary school, but towards the end (teenage angst past), I started writing short stories.

For 20 years I just wrote for fun, until I entered my first adult short story competition, in Woman and Home in 1995 – which I won. That was my first published story. Part of the prize (along with a word processor) was an advice session with a literary editor – who told me if I ever wanted to make any money from writing I should go home and write a novel.  I didn’t, largely because 3,000 words was my comfort zone, and I didn’t think I could write anything longer. I did continue writing short stories, won some more competitions and had more published.

Now available in Audio too

I might never have progressed, had not someone said to me, ‘A novel is just 30 short stories, without the difficulty of devising new characters, plot and setting.’ That was a light-bulb moment and 10 years after the Woman and Home win, I finally began my first historical novel – Turn of the Tide – the story of the ‘Ayrshire Vendetta’. Several years after that, and 70,000 words in, I ditched 67,000 words and re-started with a fictional main character trapped in the middle of the feud. (Note to writers – painful at the time it taught me a valuable lesson – a book isn’t a baby and can be chopped up or thrown away.)

25 years on from Woman and Home I have 5 published novels – a Scottish trilogy, which might continue to grow, and a two part fictionalised biography of Martin Luther’s wife and a collection of my favourite short stories. Four of the novels have either won or been placed in international competitions, and I’ve been privileged to speak at various book festivals and to mentor other writers.  Not quite a ‘sudden’ success, but I’m getting there.

Well done for all those prizes! I know it’s a cliche Margaret but I do believe ‘writing IS a journey’; hopefully one which we will enjoy along the way, rather than leave all our enthusiasm for a destination.

Are you single minded in your writing? Do you treat it as your main work and plan your day accordingly or write when the mood takes you?

For years my family (justifiably) thought of it as my ‘hobby’ and, by extension, so did I. Since the publication of Turn of the Tide in 2011, I think of it as a career I’m pursuing, and try to schedule writing time, alongside my other family and church commitments.

You would call your main genre Historical Fiction wouldn’t you? How would you describe your writing style to potential readers?

My main genre is Historical Fiction, though many of my short stories are contemporary – but they are often as far removed from me in location, as the historicals are in time. I am passionate about authenticity and aim to give readers a ‘you are there experience’ – whether that is in the 16thc or in modern-day Afghanistan.

Secondly, my Christian faith is central to everything I do, and therefore key to both what and how I write. So you won’t find explicit sex, or strong language in my books, and where violence is required because of the historical context, I try to ensure it isn’t gratuitous. No room either for the attitude my old headmaster used to describe as A.I.D.R. – ‘Ach, it’ll do rightly.’ I believe I owe it to readers to treat writing seriously, to write to the best of my ability and to take the time to edit and hone until it’s as good as I can get it.

 Can you give fellow writers any marketing tips?

Pre-covid, as a hybrid author (both traditionally and self-published), though I paid lip service to e-books, I mostly marketed traditionally – focusing on paperbacks, speaking at live events and to book groups, and so on. However, in March I had to quickly start to think like an ‘Indie’ and began to learn Amazon ads and to use paid promotional sites. Marketing is most effective if multi-faceted and visibility is key – whether on social media, Amazon or wherever. An important rule of thumb on social media particularly  is to ‘give’ more than you ‘ask’ – be generous  with advice and encouragement where you can, rather than constantly plugging your own work.

Have you one annoying habit you can share with us?

My husband would say it is finishing his sentences for him – when I’m too impatient to wait for him  to get to the end of what he wants to say!  I have also been known to do that to others sometimes – which is not so good…

What pastimes keep your feet on the ground, or maybe not, when you aren’t writing?

Not so sure about keeping my feet on the ground, but I love houses, particularly old ones and have ‘Escape to the Country’ set on permanent record, as well as browsing estate agent windows wherever I go and downloading particulars from the internet.  One bonus of the current crisis is that almost all of them come with a virtual house tour – generally great (apart from the choice of background music).

Was there a single moment in your writing life when you thought ‘YES, THIS IS IT’? Can you describe that moment for us?

Out soon on Audio

I think it has to be when my second book  – A House Divided – was published. I found that second book the hardest to write – partly because I was aware (and scared) of reader expectations,  and partly because I wondered if I was a ‘one-trick pony’. It was an enormous relief to see it ‘out there’ and even more so when the first reviews came in and when it was long-listed in a competition. It was confirmation a) that I could keep it up and b) that folk enjoyed what I wrote.

We’d love to hear your latest news:

The big thing for me just now is Audio versions of the Scottish trilogy. I have found a wonderful narrator in Dave Gillies – the books are demanding because of the many and varied characters – but he’s doing a fantastic job. My part is to proof-listen to his recordings and send back any edits / corrections / comments before he does a second pass. It has been an interesting process.

The first book is now on Audible, Amazon, Google, Apple, Kobo and various other sites, the first review of the Audio has appeared on Goodreads and we are at the final edit stage of Book 2.  By early October the whole trilogy should be available, which is both an exciting and a daunting prospect.

Exciting news!

And finally Margaret, do you see yourself writing in five years time and have you ever been tempted to write in a different genre to surprise your readers?

Short of Alzheimers, I can’t imagine myself stopping  – although it isn’t the easiest way to make some income, I love almost every minute of it, especially the face-to-face interaction with readers, which sadly isn’t currently possible, but vaccine-permitting I hope will be soon. As for genre – just now I’m considering a contemporary biography, and an historical mystery series, but whether for adult or YA I’m not sure – watch this space!

Thank you so much for inviting, me, Diana, I hope I haven’t rambled on too long! And if anyone wants to contact me directly they can find me on my website, FB or Twitter.

Margaret

 A most enjoyable Interview Margaret. Thank you once again and I wish you success in your new audio book venture!

Links to find out more about Margaret’ writing:

Margaret’s Amazon UK page

https://margaretskea.com

https://www.facebook.com/MargaretSkeaAuthor.Novels

@margaretskea1 on Twitter

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