Friday 12 March 2021

April Taylor – an affinity for music and an ill-fated queen

Author April Taylor’s writing has been largely defined by her twin passions for music and Tudor England. April comes from a musical family and has been told she could sing before she could talk. Her family lived in Louth, spark point for the 1536 Lincolnshire rebellion; an event that caused King Henry VIII to call the men of Lincolnshire “the most brute and beastly of the whole realm.” The echoes of Tudor England that she grew up so close to really began to resonate for April when she saw the film A Man for All Seasons, after which she was hooked.

As for so many, it was the compelling figure of King Henry VIII that drew April in, but after reading Margaret Campbell Barnes Brief Gaudy Hour, at the age of 14, she felt strongly drawn to Anne Boleyn. Since then, she has researched the era and spent time visiting Anne Boleyn’s homes, feeling an ever-stronger connection to the ill-fated queen who later played a leading role in a series of novels she wrote.

April’s mother played the piano; her father and three brothers played in brass bands. April herself is a keen pianist, but circumstances prevented her from having lessons until she was in her teens, too late for music college. Her voice however went from strength to strength, and she was singing principal roles and soloing for choral societies up to 2010.

April’s early-music soprano sleuth, Georgia Pattison, was born at an inaugural concert for the Three Choirs Festival, where April found herself wondering 'what if' the soprano soloist was murdered immediately after the concert finished. The idea grew and became Dearly Ransomed Soul.

There is clearly a lot of April in her heroine who also has an early-music voice. April says, ‘Georgia is braver than I am, but we share a determination and resolve when it is something we both want.’ Georgia has gone on to star in one more full-length novel with the next due in 2021:

In addition to the novels, April has published Georgia Pattison Christmas novellas:

April has also written two standalone novels:

Before she retired to write full time, April worked as a librarian in public, prison and scientific libraries. She sees her mother as a big influence in her writing career, remembering the way she would devour both paranormal and crime novels. Their shared love of these genres was the spark for April’s new series, started in 2021, set in Guisborough in the early 1970s, but with its feet in the dissolution of the monasteries.

Learn more about April and her writing on her website HERE.


Friday 5 March 2021

So you want to write a crime novel: Part 3. Research

 Okay, by now, you've decided you want to write a crime novel. You've decided what kind of novel you want to write. You've allowed your imagination full rein and have a vague idea of the setting, perhaps a few characters and the method of murder.

Now you need to do your research and make sure you write a cohesive believable story. One error and you will lose a reader. Not just for that book but all future books. Years ago, I lent my copy of P D James Shroud for a Nightingale to a friend, who happened to be a hospital ward sister. I had really enjoyed the book so was anxious for her opinion. She handed it back 'I only read a bit, she got so many procedures wrong,' my friend said.

If you are setting your book in the past or present, you must make sure what you write is accurate for that time. A police procedural set in the 1970s will be vastly different from one set in 2021. Similarly, a Victorian detective will have many more skills and tools to help him find the killer than, say, an 12th century monk. If you set the book in the future, then let your imagination run riot.

Although people are people and have the same behavioural patterns whether they are living in 2350 or Ancient Egypt, you must still make them act in harmony with the limits of knowledge at that time. The same applies to the methods of murder chosen.

I have suggested some websites which will help you verify your facts before you write them. Have fun. Writing crime is one of the more fun genres and I love it.

If you want to read more, my post is HERE

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