Finding a cover for any book is tricky and finding something striking that speaks of the story, without using the usual cliched imagery that date a book so quickly, and is also eye catching is trickier still.
The next book in my WW2 crime series Bunch Courtney Investigates has the working title of In Her Defence. The story is all about perceptions of who and what people were in the turbulent throws of May 1940 when the very real threat of imminent invasion and the instigation if internment prompted deep suspicion of anyone who was not ‘local’ or at least ‘known’ to the population at large. A time when even long standing friendships forged in childhood can and were called into question.
So far the image below is the most serious contender for In Her Defence.
Posted in art, Blogging, Books, Crime fiction, history, In Her Defence, Jan Edwards, Penkhull Press, ww2
Tagged Books, covers, crime fiction, In Her Defence, ww2
I have had this pamphlet – The Story of Okewood Church – gathering dust in various draws and on selected shelves for the best part of 40 years. It is dated 1978 and for all I know this same booklet is still available in the tiny church described.
St Johns has had many ups and downs and was left to rot and resurrected several times but has endured. It is a pretty church set in the woodlands of the Surrey/Sussex borders. It is said there was a chapel n the site long before the church was built in 1220. Buily on the remnants of a roman building (villa or temple?), which in itself was thought to be the site of a druidic temple.
Whilst writing In Her Defence, the sequel to my crime novel Winter Downs, I wanted to include a brief description of a really old village church – and Okewood does not come much older. As, indeed, is the pamphlet itself. It took me a while to find it – but The Story of Okewood Church: a Handbook for Pilgrims finally earned its place in my reference library.
Score one for the packrat who never throws anything away!
Ash wednesday comes around once more and this extract from Susses Tales tells of the ancient custom passed down among Sussex school children for generations!
At the bottom of the lane I slowed by the small copse that separated our lane from the main farm road. I dropped my bike on the verge and surveyed the woodland’s edge. Fortunately for me this section of frith had yet to be cleared and there were plenty of saplings to be raided. I jumped across the ditch and grabbed onto a young ash standing proud from the mass of newly emerging green. It took only a moment or two to select a couple of growing tips; slender and smooth and grey, their foliage still encased in cool black buds that looked for all the world like the hooves of tiny goats.
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Posted in Blogging, Crime fiction, history, Research, Writing, ww2
Tagged bunch and dodo, crime fiction, novel, research, winter downs, ww2
‘Oh! What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive…’
That line has been running through my head all of this morning, and though Scott doubtless had specific thoughts of lust and betrayal at its heart when he first penned Marmion (which is, after all, essentially crime fiction), I’ve always thought it apt for writers in general; and increasingly so as I wade into the murky waters of historical crime fiction.
To my mind, the entire raison d’être of fiction writers is to deceive their audience. Deceive them into believing that which is being laid out before them is ‘true’, at least within itself. Even the fantasy writer must construct a world that is true to itself within its own bubble, because if that writer does not know what is true or possible in that universe, they will never be able to persuade a reader that the people and places they have created just may exist, somewhere out there, in another time and place. Continue reading
Posted in Blogging, Crime fiction, Fiction, folklore, history, Jan Edwards, Penkhull Press, Research, Writing
Tagged crime, Fiction, marmion, research, walter scott, winter downs, Writing, ww2