historical mysteries collection
My historical mysteries are all set between the late medieval (Kings Edward IV) and Richard III and the Tudor (Kings Henry VII and Henry VII) and everyone is a romp of an adventure with some sort of crime mystery to solve.
There was no proper police force but the system of trial, with legal representation, and a decision of guilt or innocence by jury was already in place. A guilty decision invariably led to execution, although many crimes such as debt, led simply to imprisonment until the debt was paid. Gaols were dreadful places rife with disease and many died before trial, or execution. The number of innocent men found guilty of crimes they never committed is high in some countries today. Five hundred years ago it must have been far, far worse.
During Tudor times torture on the rack and some other forms were introduced for crimes such as heresy and treason and executions became far more common.
I have delved into the late medieval with passion since I adore those old narrow lanes, the cobbled streets, the candle light and the bustling rivers. So, my historical adventures weave through the genre in surprising ways, combining real mystery and crime with romance and historical fact. My main characters are always fictional, but I include real events and real people, all of which I research extensively.
stars and a wind trilogy
I have loved reading fantasy since I was small, and so now I write it. Writing directly from the imagination is such a joy, and I seem to become more and more engrossed in the fantasy worlds I create. It is wildly inspirational when writing of the unbelievable, yet trying to make it as believable as possible, and my inspiration come from so many places – in particular nature, the sweeping sunsets and dawn skies, storms, oceans and the flights of birds. My fantasy trilogy Stars and a Wind was inspired by the Matthew Bourne ballet, and others come from dreams. I am a mad dreamer and have crazy adventures at night which then transform into charters, stories, plots and ideas during the day.
Fantasy has incredible power, for it carries you into the world of the heart instead of the brain and presents you with a freedom that can be offered in no other way.
But there is also always an element of huge mystery, and of integral romance. No world is complete without romance and mystery side by side.
My reading and writing passions have always been history and fantasy, so why not combine the two? I have been writing this series, for middle-grade (roughly 8 – 12 years) where my youthful hero is snapped up from his cosy modern bedroom and whisked off to an adventure he never could have imagined.
But he’s not dreaming, and he’s dumped down in medieval London, joins a small gang of poverty stricken orphan kids who steal to eat, and makes a home with them.
But then, before he is permitted back home, the entire gang finds themselves in a new world, where a great deal of wrong has occurred, and they are given the chance to put it right.
So, my two loves history and fantasy make up a series of six books, three are already published. The next two will be out in a couple of months.
Not all children learn much history these days, especially not English medieval, so I wanted to introduce some – but I also wanted to produce a series which would be really entertaining to many. The love of reading is so important when young, and I was delighted to think of a way I felt would be popular to bring imagination and adventure to a younger audience.
I have loved writing this series. It may even continue with more books, but I haven’t yet made that decision. Six books seem like a fair introduction.
time travel mysteries
I have quite a few nice lamps, but however hard I polish them, I haven’t yet had a genie appearing to offer me wishes; If I ever did get three wishes, my first would be the chance to time-travel.
It was the thrill of such time-travel that inspired my novel Fair Weather. My main character experiences this, but without having asked for it, or wanting it. And it’s not an easy ride.
This is a fantasy, although very largely based during the medieval period of King John on the throne. He’s irrelevant to the story, but the lurking evil and the terrible crimes that face the characters in two time-zones are certainly evil.
I then wrote another novel based around time travel, Future Tense, but this time it is more of Sci-Fi-Mystery/ Time-Travel adventure.
The very distant past spins into the distant future. The present time snaps into greater danger down the tunnels of black matter which the time-lord uses to leap from past into future and back again.
The Great War is waiting in hundreds of years to come, but peace and safety are even further ahead.
This is an unusual and unique story with a hero who loves danger, but he cannot always control his journey.
Is there anyone who isn’t ten, excited by the notion of time-travel? My love of history inspired my books at first, and I think that combines with travelling through time so well, I’m sure I’ll write another one day.
I’ve been asked several times to write a sequel to Fair Weather, and I think I may do that one day. But my hero is a very difficult character to get right, so giving him another book is a challenge.
Perhaps if I have another time-travelling dream????