Saturday 21 December 2019

Golden memories can bring inspiration

When a writer gets that first inspiration for a book, it either manifests as a plot point – a what if? – situation or a character who has something to say.

For me, early music soprano, Georgia Pattison was born out of my memories of singing with Worcester Festival Choral Society in the 70s and early 80s, a time I regard as golden.

It was a time when, as a member of the chorus and in Three Choirs Festivals, I mixed with household names like Paul Tortelier, Sir Charles Groves, Janet Baker and Lennox Berkeley. I sang in the 1981 Three Choirs Festival, when 5 months pregnant. To the whole of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the ‘bump’ became Earnshaw because my husband was a Yorkshireman.
How’s Earnshaw today?’
‘He wasn’t keen on the trumpets in the Berlioz, but apart from that…
We will gloss over the fact that ‘he’ turned out to be ‘she’.

From those memories, the Georgia Pattison Mysteries came into being. It has become something of a fashion for writers to write an annual Christmas novella or short story for their series character and it is popular with readers.

So it isn’t surprising that my contemporary detective, early-music soprano, Georgia Pattison is once more making a festive appearance. This year, she is thrown into the midst of a school nativity play, with all its joys and disasters. As you might guess, she discovers that peace and goodwill to all men does not apply to murderers.

If you would like to read more about this year’s Christmas novella, While Shepherds Watched, click here:

You can buy While Shepherds Watched here :

You can find out more about April Taylor and her books here:

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Saturday 7 December 2019

The Bookless Book Launch

All was planned. What could be better than to launch my first book in the village where the novel is set? A table was booked at the local pre-Christmas Craft Fair and flyers printed ready to hand out. The only problem – my books did not arrive in time from the printers.

Downhearted? Yes, but I attended the Fair anyway, only to arrive in torrential rain. Even the local dogs did not want a walk. I was shown to my table – a small one tucked in the far corner. Oh dear. I dripped my way across and there I waited for the Fair to open, my two proof copies on display looking as sad as I felt.

The event was a slow starter. A lot of folk came only for a morning coffee and a chat with friends. Many overlooked my table altogether, moving swiftly between the more colourful stalls. A few were enticed by the front cover and the title Witch-bottles and Windlestraws. I persevered. 

‘Do you like historical novels?’ I asked as they passed by. If they answered ‘yes’, then I would add, ‘Well – this one is set here, in Reighton, in the early 1700s.’ Then they were hooked. I took orders for ten books and, very trustingly, the purchasers paid in advance. All was not lost.

I did deliver the books a couple of weeks later and so met the buyers twice as they asked for their copies to be signed. Now I have good contacts in the village and they are helping with my research for the next novel in the series. 

The moral of this tale? No books, no problem!

Joy Stonehouse

Copies of Witch-bottles and Windlestraws are available as a paperback or ebook from Amazon.