Welcome to my first blog post.
As my debut novel, Tangle of Time, takes place in 15th century England – Yorkshire to be precise – I thought I might use the time period and the location to share my writing journey and my research with you.
I grew up in Yorkshire, the largest county in England. Yorkshire has a fascinating history going back before pre-Roman times. Since stone age and iron age people, the land has been molded by invading Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and Norman French.
This map shows the location of the county of Yorkshire relative to the rest of England. Note that it is in the ‘North’. England has long been divided into ‘the North’ and ‘the South’ both politically and culturally.
Yorkshire is also called ‘God’s Own Country’ – usually by Yorkshire people!
I grew up in a coal-mining village in West Yorkshire and my early claim to fame is that I went to the same grammar school as Henry Moore, world famous sculptor, in Castleford. Like me, Henry’s father was a coal miner. I never went down the pit but Henry did. Henry received permission to go down a mine in order to sketch miners at work.
Titled ‘A Miner at Work’, this sketch is in the Imperial War Museum, London.
Growing up in a mining village is a far cry from the stunning beauty of the scenery for which Yorkshire is famous as we were surrounded by slag heaps, (huge piles of waste from the mines) but we were only a bus ride from the Yorkshire Moors, the Dales and, once a year, the seaside.
York is the capital city of Yorkshire, again with a history going back to Roman-Britain.
In my novels, York is the epicentre; the story and the characters flow from there.
My first published novel, Tangle of Time, has the heroine, Annie, falling through time from the 21st century to the fifteenth. Many historical novels focus on the lives of the rich and famous. I wanted to explore the lives of ordinary people – those on the front lines – like coal miners!
I learned lots of fascinating facts about medieval village life. I’d love to share the stories with you. If you have an interest in medieval England and medieval Yorkshire, stay with me. Sign up for my monthly newsletter and follow my blog.
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I’m off to make a beef curry, talk soon!