23 June 2014

Immersed in revision and lost pink sheep!

Let's face it. Because I am in the throes of rewriting my novel in progress, I have little of any interest to blog about. Unlike a writer with an ongoing publisher's contract, I have no deadline whatsoever. I have a lovely agent who has yet to make any money out of me so she is willing wait until my manuscript is the best it can possibly be to merit serious consideration. (Although I am  well aware that the time will soon come when she cannot read my manuscripts any more

So, all I can do is write the best manuscript I can and keep focused.

I am fortunate in that I choose to write historical fiction that always based on the area in which I actually live or have lived (preferably the former.)

When I was living in Harrogate and writing and researching Hope against Hope not only was the local reference library always on hand when the internet was still rudimentary, I also knew the local historians whose ears I could bend. The local newspaper always had snippets, I could cut out and keep. (Not to mention the fact that they kindly featured me and my writing successes every so often. Thank you The Harrogate Advertiser!) Not only that, but every day I walked or drove past places and buildings that featured heavily in my novel. So every time I took a seat on the top deck of the number 36 bus between Leeds and Harrogate I would gaze upon the cottage in the banks of the River Wharfe that was, in the novel, "The Ship Inn" where Carrie and May came to grief. I could retrace the flight from their old life in Leeds to their new one in Harrogate. In the town shopping or drinking coffee, I could gaze on the many hotels and feature most of them by their real names (such as the Old Swan, The Crown and, the one now renamed the Cedar Court but was once the Queen Hotel.) As I was writing and researching the novel it just so happened that a building that, at the time, was the headquarters of the local NHS trust was under scaffolding as it reverted back to being The White Hart Hotel and the perfect place for me to rename The Hope Hotel!

Anyway, now for the past 6 years, I have been living in the village of Rosedale Abbey with its traces of a priory for women. I have made it a Cistercian establishment but it could have been another - it has not yet been proved. Being a fiction writer as opposed to a historian makes life easier in many ways!.

So, like when I lived in Harrogate, I can visit the churchyard and about the village and walk past the former water mill plus the two small rivers flowing through the village and what walls remain of the priory and exercise my legs as well as my imagination! So I went out in the sunshine armed with camera and imagination and commune with my novel.

A few of my recent photos are dotted around this blog post.

I have plans for future historical novels set in the village at key strategic moments in history such as when Huguenot glass-blowers lived and worked secretly in its hills (16th century) and much, much  later when (late 19th and early 20th century) it became a heavily-populated ironstone mining area.
And so to finish with a big smile...

If you're anywhere in the North York Moors now and until September, look out for Lost Pink Sheep and claim a prize. I have spotted two around and about our village. One outside a B&B establishment and another in a shop window. Keep looking for pink sheep anywhere in or near the National Park!


  1. Isn't it lovely? I will email you about the maker shortly. I don't want to give the game away here!

  2. I enjoyed this blog. So not true that you have nothing to blog about! And I recognise a bit of Gillies Jones glass from my time in North Yorkshire.