#FabulousFridayGuestBlogger, Deborah Jay: how do you write ‘what you know’, when you write fantasy?

Thanks, Marcia, for the opportunity to be featured guest blogger here on The Write Stuff this week. I’m so thrilled this wonderful blog is up and running again after all your trials and tribulations. We missed you!

‘Write what you know’ is one of those rules all authors come across. But when you’re writing a fantasy novel, how can you do that?

With book #3 in my Five Kingdoms fantasy series releasing next week, I thought I’d share a peek into how I chose to incorporate a little of what I know into my imaginary world. You might notice a bit of a theme across my covers…

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One of the draws of writing fantasy is the ability (necessity) to create your own world from scratch, but it’s nevertheless important to have enough similarities with the real world for readers to have an easy frame of reference. If everything is unfamiliar, they have to work too hard at understanding what’s going on to enjoy following the plot, or find empathy with the protagonist and supporting characters.

If I’d wanted, I could have given my characters 6-legged, horned critters to ride, but as a professional horse rider (my day job, lucky me), I decided to give them regular horses. Well, slightly enhanced, almost regular horses!

This enabled me to inject some realism into the world of the Five Kingdoms, with small details of horsemanship and horse behaviour that bring the horses to life as characters in their own right. Here’s a snippet featuring one of my favourites:

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At this time of day, only one horse stood inside. Fleetfoot, Rustam’s bright bay Shivan stallion, dozed on his feet in the middle of the walkway, disdaining an actual stable. None of the stable lads would dream of trying to coax him into a loose box—he’d shown them how such an attempt would end within half a day of his arrival in the barn. Fortunately, as the season was so warm, the lad in question had dried out quickly after his dunking in the water trough.

Fleetfoot acknowledged Rustam’s arrival with a shake of his neck, his long black mane swishing from side to side. Rustam patted his shoulder. “It’s good to see you resting, my friend. We’ve an important task ahead.”

He ran a hand along the stallion’s muscular crest beneath the heavy fall of mane, marvelling as always at the softness of the horse’s hair. Fleetfoot bent his neck around and blinked at Rustam, who sighed. “I’m guessing the hardest part will be persuading Risada to stay behind. Ouch!”

He leaned against the stallion’s shoulder, pushing hard until the horse lifted the hoof he’d planted on Rustam’s foot. “What was that for?”

Rustam hopped a few steps, before rubbing the top of his abused foot against the back of his other calf. He’d never held any illusions about the weight of the substantial animal even before being trodden on. “That’s going to be one almighty bruise, thank you very much. What did I say to offend you?”

Fleetfoot arched his neck, lowering his head until he matched eyelines with Rustam. His expression revealed both dismay and disapproval. Rustam shook his head. “For someone who can’t utter words, you have an amazing ability to express your opinions. You think Risada should come with us, don’t you?” Fleetfoot bobbed his head down, once, twice.

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Each of my books features several named horses who have their parts to play in developing the characters of their riders, instead of being just a means of conveyance. I find human/horse (or indeed, any animal) relationships bring out greater personality depths, and in the case of horses are often a means of strengthening and deepening certain traits, such as patience, empathy and humility. Exactly what they do for those of us fortunate enough to work with them in real life.

DO you follow the ‘write what you know’ rule? Please tell me in the comments: it’s always fascinating to hear other writers’ thoughts on the ‘rules’.

If you haven’t read any of my Five Kingdoms novels yet, #1, THE PRINCE’S MAN goes on sale next Friday at $0.99 in all stores, the same day as #3, THE PRINCE’S PROTEGE releases with an introductory price of $2.99

Mar 19 sale

Each book has a stand alone story arc, but they have ongoing threads leading towards a final showdown in book #4.

If you HAVE read books 1 & 2, this is what #3 looks like, and is available now on Amazon pre-order,

launch promo

thumb nailDeborah Jay writes fantasy and urban fantasy featuring complex, quirky characters and multi-layered plots – just what she likes to read.

Living mostly on the UK South coast, she has already invested in her ultimate retirement plan – a farmhouse in the majestic, mystery-filled Scottish Highlands where she retreats to write when she has time. Her taste for the good things in life is kept in check by the expense of keeping too many horses, and her complete inability to cook.
She has a dream day job riding, training and judging competition dressage horses and riders, and also writes books and magazine features on the subject under her professional name of Debby Lush.

Connect with Deborah elsewhere across the web

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If you fancy trying out a FREE Five Kingdoms story, sign up to my mailing list HERE – you can always unsubscribe if it’s not to your taste.

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Other books by Deborah Jay

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An Update on #TheWriteStuff

Wanted to start the week off with an update for you guys, especially for new followers who don’t know that I used to run regular weekly or monthly features here on The Write Stuff. Most of you do know that I’ve been generally whining, and grumbling, and otherwise making a nuisance of myself about being so far behind on everything I’m trying to do. Well, it’s time for that to STOP!

No, I haven’t magically caught up with everything overnight, but the good news is, I’m making slow, steady progress, knock wood! And I am ready to start reintroducing the features we used to enjoy around here. It might take me a few weeks to get all of them “up and running,” but you can expect to see the following things coming back on board–and some of them will probably start this week, alongside a few that never totally went away.

  • #MondayMeme – Memes with a writing/reading/books theme
  • #Thorsday Smile – Things I think are funny & hope you’ll enjoy
  • #WhyWriteWrong? – Words I see misused fairly often
  • #ShareAReviewDay – Recent/favorite reviews submitted by you guys
  • #ExcerptWeek – A week of sharing excerpts from your book of choice
  • #FabulousFridayGuestBlogger – Self-explanatory
  • #LifeLessonsFromOz – Vids I share for a smile (and perhaps a lesson?)
  • #MidWeekPOV – Just some things/ideas I share now and then
  • #InspirationBoardSunday – Images/Ideas/CoverArt I find inspiring

Some of these are meant to be weekly features, though it might take me a couple weeks to get them up and running. Some are posted randomly as the mood or subject matter strikes my fancy. But ALL are coming back over the next couple of months. And many of them involve you wonderful bloggers and authors “out there.” You’ll be invited when these come up, and I’ll explain how to participate in them at that time.

Hope you’ll enjoy having these features back again, and will want to take part in some of them. I know many of you would probably love to share your reviews and excerpts with us, and your latest promo news, releases, cover reveals, etc, as well. And I’m really looking forward to helping you do just that.

To begin, I’ll be posting some archived samples of these features over the next week or two, so you see what they’re all about, and will feel comfortable joining in.

Stay tuned, my wonderful friends! I can hardly wait to get the ball rolling!

#FabulousFridayGuestBlogger ~ New Release from Tony Riches: Brandon – Tudor Knight

Please help me welcome guest blogger Tony Riches back today. Tony is sharing the news of his latest release, Brandon – Tudor Knight, and offering some insight as to how he got started writing his wonderful historical fiction biographies.  I know you’ll enjoy this and will share far and wide, just in time for the Christmas seasonl, so without further ado, here’s Tony!

Development of a Tudor Historical Fiction Series 

It all began with my research for a novel about the life of Henry Tudor, who like me was born in the Welsh town of Pembroke. I collected more than enough material for a substantial book – and discovered there were no novels about his amazing story. I think this was partly because Henry had been (mistakenly) labelled as dull and miserly, when in fact he was an extravagant gambler, who knew how to broker peace and end the Wars of the Roses. Continue reading

#FabulousFridayGuestBlogger – Sarah Zama @JazzFeathers

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Today’s #FabulousFridayGuestBlogger is Sarah Zama. So nice to have her here, and I know you’ll enjoy her post. Welcome, Sarah!

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THE JAZZ AGE: WHY LIFE SOUNDED LIKE JAZZ IN THE 1920s

Jazz, a vision of the future with roots in the past

Since the very beginning, jazz had a strong borderline nature, one that would bring different elements together while still creating a division.

The very nature of jazz is a mishmash of different experiences. There is no doubt that jazz has strong roots in the African cultures and probably came out of the slave experience in a time when slavery no longer existed but was still very much remembered. In and around New Orleans, where jazz probably originated, fields songs that came from African traditional cultures mixed with a more European conception of music and especially with instruments coming from it. Jazz was in part both of them, while still being a completely new way not only of making music but also of understanding it. Continue reading

#FabulousFridayGuestBlogger – @CynthiaSReyes – Cynthia Reyes

 

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Today’s guest blogger is Cynthia Reyes, who has a wonderful story of recovery and hope to share with you. I know you’ll enjoy her inspiring post, and will remember to share far and wide.  Now, here’s Cynthia.

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The other day, I turned to my husband and said:

“I’d like my life back. The lost years … I’d like them back.”

I thought I’d fully accepted the lost years – the decade that followed a car accident. But the words erupted from my chest before I’d had a chance to even think them through.

My husband had helped me stay on the road to acceptance. But this time, his reply surprised me.

“I know what you mean,” he said softly. “Back when you were strong and vigorous and could do almost anything, it seemed. I miss that woman at times too.”

He got it exactly right. It wasn’t the award-winning career I missed, the many trips abroad, the fact that some people saw me as a visionary leader. It was the ability to do simple things, like dig a new garden bed, go for a long walk, or dance with my husband. Mourning those losses had compounded them. Continue reading

#FabulousFridayGuestBlogger Janet Gogerty

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Today’s guest blogger is a new follower here at The Write Stuff, and I’m looking forward to getting to know her better.  Hope you are, too. Here’s Janet Gogerty to share a bit ab0ut herself and her writing with you, and I hope you’ll pass it along to your friends and followers. Thanks for joining us here today, Janet.

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A little while ago we were searching in the loft for something completely different and I came across a box of notebooks. My teenage self had read that would be writers should write; anything and everything; diary, poetry, descriptions, feelings….

Each notebook had the first few pages diligently filled, the rest in their virgin state. But one was different; twelve pages of my first novel, neatly written with no crossings out. I recalled my twenty year old self having a vivid dream that inspired me to start writing the very next day….

I never got any further and it was many years before I started writing seriously. When I joined a writing group we had to write and read out a new piece each week; short stories tumbled onto the page, but when our tutor suggested I start a novel, so my characters had a chance to develop, I felt I had no big idea. My husband suggested I write about my family’s experience emigrating to Australia; this idea became ‘Quarter Acre Block’ and if you want a safe gentle read stop here.

If you like reading something meatier and stranger; if you enjoy tackling Life’s big questions, read on.

My daughter wanted to know what happened to Emma, whose fate was literally left in the air, at the end of a short story ‘Brief Encounters of the Third Kind’. And so I started writing my first novel. What happens to ordinary people when the extraordinary happens to them? The first thing that happens, especially if they are English? They don’t tell anyone, they doubt they will be believed and the longer they keep their dreadful secret to themselves, the harder it becomes. Susan Dexter lives in Ashley, a suburb of London where nothing much happens until the day she is hanging out her washing. For thirty years Susan fears her daughter Emma is not human; then new events lead her to meet others seeking the truth.

This novel evolved into the ‘Brief Encounters Trilogy’. In ‘Three Ages of Man’ a character who walked into the first novel uninvited tells his own very different story. ‘Lives of Anna Alsop’ follows on from the first two novels. Anna was another unexpected character and she narrates the third book.

Meanwhile in real life I’m currently writing a new novel ‘At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream’. I also still enjoy penning short stories; some have been published in anthologies and I have published two collections on Amazon Kindle; ‘Dark and Milk’ and ‘Hallows and Heretics’. My husband provides financial, technical and moral support. When he discovered it cost nothing to publish on Amazon Kindle he was happy to help, expecting we were only going to do one book.

‘Quarter Acre Block’ is not autobiographical, but was inspired by our experiences as ‘Ten Pound Pommies’. I was eleven. At twenty I came back to England on the traditional ‘working holiday’ and I’m still here! So I have lived in some very different places and although I have not yet achieved my ambition to live in a windmill, lighthouse or isolated island, we do now live a short distance from the cliff top with views of the Isle of Wight. To make up for not actually living with a sea view we have a beach hut; only a six foot box, but it has the essentials; a Calor gas stove to make coffee, a changing hut for swimming and stacks of recycled paper for writing.

 With several career disasters and staying home when the children were young, I have notched up a variety of jobs and voluntary work; a wealth of interesting people and places to write about, I shall never run out of ideas.

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Janet Gogerty

I have been writing frantically for nearly nine years and am writing my fifth novel, ‘At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream’. I still love writing short stories and have had them published on paper, in audio and in all corners of the internet. My novel ‘Brief Encounters of the Third Kind’ was originally a short story and eventually became a trilogy with ‘Three Ages of Man’ and ‘Lives of Anna Alsop’.

I love paper books and I’m sure they are here to stay, but in an uncertain publishing world, especially for new writers, I love the idea that we can just go ahead and be independent.

I started a clockwork website several years ago and it took on a life of its own. Visit to read about my books, my local area and my travels. There is an illustrated Beachwriter’s Blog, regular new fiction and a picture quiz. http://www.ccsidewriter.co.uk

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https://www.amazon.com/Quarter-Acre-Block-Janet-Gogerty-ebook/dp/B00A6XDUQM

https://www.amazon.com/Brief-Encounters-Third-Janet-Gogerty-ebook/dp/B00AWVNH3E

www.ccsidewriter.co.uk

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7236471.Janet_Gogerty/blog

https://www.facebook.com/Beachwriter/

 

 

#FabulousFridayGuestBlogger Allison D. Reid @Allisondreid

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It’s nice to get back to our #FabulousFridayGuestBlogger posts, and I’m happy to introduce today’s guest, Allison  D. Reid. Hope you enjoy this post as much as I did, and please remember to share far and wide! (We’ll do the same for you, when it’s your turn!) Happy reading, and now, here’s Allison.

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Have you ever fallen in love with a book character? Well, not literally, of course (though if you have, I promise not to judge). Sometimes we really connect with book characters, to the point where we wish they were real. We want to keep learning about them and follow their lives even after the story we’re reading has ended. For those of us who are writers, that connection can be pretty strong. Partly because our characters are in some way an outpouring of ourselves, but also because we have to work so hard to get behind their eyes…to feel what they feel, examine their thoughts, dreams, and motivations. We experience both their joy and their suffering, else we could not adequately express it to our readers.

Sometimes our characters surprise us, too. We expect them to go in one direction, yet they go off in another. The harder we try to rein them in to fit our vision, the more they fight us until we must either strip away their newfound will (which typically results in dull, lifeless characters), or give in and let them take the lead. Characters can take their writers on adventures too, and we end up places we never anticipated.

Such is the case with Einar from my book series. He did not exist anywhere in the back stories I had saved from my roleplaying days. He was a brand new character, dreamed up just for Journey to Aviad; written to serve the larger plot, and only intended to play a minor role. He was bitter and disillusioned, yet still retained a broken sense of honor. In my early notes for the book, Einar truly was a renegade, and not an especially predictable or trustworthy one. He would help Elowyn because it suited his purpose, but he would just as easily have sold her out if by doing so he could win his own cause. But that’s not where Einar ended up once the writing began, and I’m glad of it. Moment by moment, Einar showed me who he wanted to be, and who he was destined to become as the story unfolded. He showed me all his past scars, his present pain, and the silent inner hope he still managed to cling to in spite of all that. In the end, Einar became far more than just a cog in the wheel driving my plot forward. He became real.

I wasn’t surprised when Journey to Aviad readers kept asking me, “What happened to Einar? Is he coming back?” He made a connection with them too. And though for many reasons he couldn’t have a role in Ancient Voices, I desperately wanted to continue his story, not just for my sake, or to satisfy reader curiosity, but for his sake as well. He deserved more. So when I was asked to write a novella that could be included in a charity book (coming out next year), I saw it as my best opportunity. Into the Shadow Wood is that novella, and I’m incredibly excited that it has finally been released! Once again, Einar took me places through the writing process where I never intended him to go, and yet they suited him perfectly. Readers will be happy to know that Einar’s story has finally been given some closure, but it is far from over. He will be back again, and no doubt his journey will keep surprising me. I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

New Release Info and Blurb

Ever wonder what happened to Einar from Journey to Aviad? If so, you’re not alone. Readers asked, and I’ve answered—the wait is over! Plunge with Einar into the dark and twisted Shadow Wood (if you dare) as he fights for his life–and his sanity—in this companion book to the Wind Rider Chronicles. Haven’t read the series yet? That’s okay, because you can pick up the first book in the series, Journey to Aviad, FREE at most ebook retailers.

Into the Shadow Wood

Once a proud member of the Sovereign’s prestigious personal guard, Einar has lost everything: his home, his Sovereign, and his purpose. Most of his closest friends have either been killed in battle or executed. His friend Nevon died trying to fulfill a dangerous oath…one that Einar disagreed with, but now feels honor-bound to take up in his stead. The quest plunges Einar into the depths of the dark and twisted Shadow Wood, testing the limits of his strength, his beliefs, and his sanity. What he finds in the Wood is far more ominous than anything he’d expected. If he’s not careful, Nevon’s fate might end up being his own.

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Allison D. Reid

Allison D. Reid was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her love for medieval fantasy was sparked by the Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis, which fed both her imagination and her spiritual development. When at the age of thirteen her family moved to Germany, her passion for medieval history and legend only increased, and she found herself captivated by the ancient towns and castles of Europe.

Allison returned to the United States to study art and writing at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. She earned her B.A. under the tutelage of the well-renowned and prolific writer Andrew Salkey, a student of her other great inspiration, and the father of fantasy, J. R. R. Tolkien. After graduating from Hampshire College, Allison moved to Connecticut. There she got the opportunity to attend seminary and further explore her faith before returning to her home state of Ohio.

Allison now lives in the Miami Valley area with her husband and children. She continues to work on her first published series while taking care of her family, editing for other independent writers, and managing a home business.

Find Allison Here:

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Buy Links:

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#FabulousFridayGuestBlogger – Carmen Stefanescu – Till Life Do Us Part

Since we haven’t had many #FabulousFridayGuestBloggers in the past few weeks, I was delighted to hear from Carmen, who has an interesting post to share with you today. Carmen, I welcome you to The  Write Stuff. It’s always good to hear from you.


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Thank you, Marcia, for inviting me to celebrate my latest release on your blog, too!

As a part of Till Life do Us Part deals with past life regression, I want to share with your followers several interesting things I found while doing a thorough research for my story on this topic.

Past Life Regression Therapy is considered one of the fastest and most effective ways to help you transform your life experience. It is a pretty simple process : you are suggested to travel back through the years to recall specific memories. Conflicts from the past and the patterns resulting from traumatic experiences can distort our physical, emotional and mental well being. Some indications of unresolved past experiences: Irrational fears, unexplained and recurring physical pains or sensations, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, persistent feelings of panic, anger, guilt, depression, disturbing thoughts, feeling blocked, emotional outbursts, blocked feelings, low self-esteem, self-harm, numbness, repeating relationship problems with family, work or social contacts, repeating patterns of self sabotage, limiting habits. Continue reading

Calling All Bloggers & Writers: #FabulousFridayGuestBlogger Feature is Looking Pretty Boring!

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If you happened to visit The Write Stuff Friday, you might have noticed there was NO guest blogger on the  premises. 😦 Normally, I fill in with something if no one is scheduled to visit with us, but I was utterly swamped with editing and other deadlines, and let it slip by. Sorry! However, I’m hoping that situation is about to change.

If you are a writer or blogger who would like to be featured as a Friday guest, please contact me. We’ll choose a date, and if you haven’t done this before, I’ll tell you how to go about it. If you HAVE done this before, and would like to do it again, we’ll welcome you with open arms. In addition to letting people learn more about you, it’s a great opportunity to direct traffic to your blog, or to the Buy Links for your books. And if you have a new book coming out (and some of you DO), or are having a special promo, you can mention that at the bottom of your post, too.

So, how about it? I’m waiting . . . . . . . . . . .

 

#FabulousFridayGuestBlogger @ThorneMoore

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Known Knowns and Unknown Unknowns

“Write about what you know” is useful advice. I thought it would be very easy to follow, when writing my latest book, The Unravelling, which will be published in July. First of all, I would be looking at the world as seen through the eyes of a 10-year-old, in the mid-1960s. She would be living in a town quite similar to Luton, on a council estate that was just beginning to replace the prefabs, which had been thrown up to provide quick emergency housing, after the war.

 I was a ten-year-old in the mid-1960s, living on the edge of a council estate in Luton, and, walking to school, I witnessed the demolition of the prefabs, including the one my grandparents had lived in. Simple.

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Post war prefabs

It is remarkably easy to remember every little detail of my world, 50 years ago, from the cotton frocks our mothers made for us, to the pink custard served up at our seriously stodgy school meals. I remember the posters on the classroom walls, the smell of the corridors (a mixture, I suspect, of polish, vomit, urine and very strong disinfectant). I remember the streets, dark lanes and open parks I would walk through on my way, to and from school – a serious walk, but no one would have dreamed of being taken to school by car. I remember the shops, and the sweets they sold – sherbet flying saucers, fruit gums, penny chocolate bars. I remember the kitchen wallpaper my parents put up, as horizons began to expand, covered with exotic vegetables like aubergines (eggplants), courgettes (zucchini), chard and red peppers – vegetables we never saw in the shops, but rumour had it that foreign people ate them and may even had liked them.

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The estate where I grew up. I watched the tower blocks go up as I walked to school.

So much for the 1960s. I then had to look at the turn of this century. The Millennium. Equally easy, I thought. Everyone knows some of the events that happened then, and others are easy to check. It was only 15 years ago, and I lived through it as a mature adult. Surely I can remember just how it was. Wrong. It is next to impossible for the memory to keep pace with the technological changes that are sweeping past us, establishing themselves so quickly and firmly that we can’t believe they haven’t been around for at least 30 years.

How did you search for someone, in 2000, as my heroine has to do? You use the internet, of course. Except that, in Britain, broadband connections only began in 2000, and nearly everyone was reliant on impossibly slow dial-up modems, with rocketing phone bills and shouts of fury from other people in the house who wanted to use the phone. Have I really only had proper access to the World Wide Web for 12 years? Then, finding someone today, you might try Facebook. But there was no Facebook. Or you could Google them. But back then, Google was a new boy on the block and everyone used Yahoo, or Alta Vista, and the chances were, you wouldn’t find anyone anyway. People didn’t have an on-line presence. You want to trace a marriage that happened 30 years ago? Today you do it with the click of a mouse. In 2000, you got on a train.

I used my own early researches into family history in my first book, A Time For Silence, in which my heroine tries to track down details of her grandfather and aunt. Now I know that today, you simply go to Ancestry.com or FreeBMD, and have it all at your fingertips in minutes. When I first started researching my family history, there was no internet, and searching meant getting on a train to London, to trawl through huge tomes of indexes. Not so bad, when I only lived 30 minutes from London. When I moved to Wales, I found that the National Library of Wales, in Aberystwyth, had similar records, and I spent many happy hours going blind, trying to decipher blurred microfiche and microfilm records. I gave my heroine the same pleasure.

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My eyes hurt, just thinking about it

However much I use my own experiences to write, some research is nearly always needed. In A Time For Silence, I had to write about life in rural Wales in in the 1930s and 40s. Before my time, but there were plenty of people around me who could remember it well enough, and I was able to trawl through local newspapers of the time. That was so absorbing, I couldn’t resist letting my heroine do the same.

But the trick, with research, is to know how much of it not to use. It’s so tempting, when you become immersed in a fascinating topic, to want to filter it all into your story. A Time For Silence features a German prisoner of war, and I wanted to know more about the POW camp, which was set up a few miles from where I now live. I knew, as everyone round here knows, that it began as a camp for Italian prisoners, who decorated one of the Nissan huts as a Catholic Chapel, which had been preserved.

But after the surrender of Italy, the camp was used for German prisoners, many of whom worked on the local farms. I needed some basic facts for my story, such as when exactly the camp closed, and who was kept there, so I finished up appealing for any information about Henllan Camp from the National Archives. What I received was a huge collection of official inspection reports for the War Office, which give a riveting insight into army and bureaucratic behaviour.

The site remained open until the spring of 1947, and many of the German prisoners were rounded up and taken there after the war. The function of the camp was to assess how Nazified they were. They were allowed to apply for repatriation and then they were classified as white, grey and black Nazis. The white were simply Germans caught up in the war, with no ideological commitment, and could be allowed home. The grey were believers who were open to persuasion that they had been deceived, and could go home as soon as they were sufficiently re-educated. The black were committed Nazis, who would never be swayed in their beliefs. They were to be kept.

At regular intervals, the government sent inspectors to report on conditions in the camp, number of prisoners, state of discipline etc. This was obviously a box-ticking exercise. Each inspector reported that the camp was well run by its commander, accounts were properly kept, and order was smoothly maintained by a splendidly efficient sergeant major. Then, just before the camp closed, a new inspector arrived – one who was less of a box-ticking pen-pusher and more of a perceptive psychologist. His report explained that while the commander loftily fulfilled his duties, blithely unaware of any trouble, the sergeant major, who dealt personally with the prisoners, was a rabid German-hater, looking for revenge for his brother, who had been killed in North Africa, and he had been systematically destroying the prisoners’ written requests for repatriation.

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The Italian chapel at Henllan

 This was a great story, that I just had to use – but I didn’t, because it wouldn’t have been relevant to my story. The key to using research is to know which bits of it matter to my characters and to get details right, when they are needed, but to let the bulk of it lie beneath the surface, just out sight. And there’s always the possibility of another book that might put my research to deeper use.

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Author Thorne Moore

Thorne Moore was born in Luton, near London and the sludge of the Thames estuary, and now lives in Pembrokeshire on the Atlantic coast, with a lot of hills (small, but we call them mountains), woods (we call them forests) and villages (other people would call them road junctions with a house or two). No cities anywhere near.

She was advised to study law, so she studied history instead, in order to avoid a future career as a lawyer, as she was obviously going to be a writer. Since it took her forty years to get published, she filled in the time working in a library, running a restaurant, teaching family history and making miniature furniture (Pear Tree Miniatures). Her first book, A Time For Silence, was published in 2012. Motherlove followed in 2015, and her third, The Unravelling, will be published July 2016. She lives in a Victorian farmhouse, which occupies the site of a Medieval mansion. Several cats share the house and several woodpeckers share the garden.

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Motherlove (Amazon UK)
Motherlove (Amazon.com)

A Time For Silence (Amazon UK)
A Time For Silence (Amazon.com)

Thorne’s Amazon Page
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: @ThorneMoore