Sunday, 30 September 2018
THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY - a guest post by Jennifer C Wilson
Today I have the great pleasure to welcome back my dear friend and fellow-scribe Jennifer C Wilson, who has news of a fantastic new release and how it came into being. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, but I will let Jen herself tell you about it...
THE LAST PLANTAGENET?
The fireplace hadn't looked like a time-portal.
All Kate had wanted was a fun, relaxing day out, watching the knights jousting at Nottingham Castle. What she ended up with was something quite different.
Transported in a heartbeat from 2011 to 1485, how will Kate handle life at the Ricardian court? Even more importantly, how will she cope when she catches the eye of the king himself?
Find out in this 'giddily romantic' romp, set just prior to the Battle of Bosworth.
A couple of years ago, before Kindred Spirits: Tower of London had come into being, I saw an article about a Mills & Boon imprint, Historical Undone, which accepted stories of 10-12,000 words, and were open to elements of the supernatural and paranormal. It sounded interesting, and achievable at that length, so I started brainstorming ideas. After a while, the idea of time-travel came to the fore, the notion of a girl slipping back in time to the court of Richard III, and a possible romance to follow.
So I began working on it, but I knew fairly soon in that it was going to be a Mills & Boon project. I’ve read plenty of their historical novels, and knowing what they would likely expect, and where my story was going, it was clear the two weren’t going to align. What to do then? Keep going, not knowing where it could end up, or put it to one side and work on another project, one which felt more solid? I opted for the latter, and put the whole thing aside, moving onto other things, and all but forgetting about it.
You know what it’s like, though – just because you say you’ll forget about something, doesn’t mean that you actually will forget about it. The idea kept nagging away at me, but whenever I sat and looked at it, I couldn’t get the story quite right. I managed the initial timeslip moment, and plenty of scenes set in 1485, but when it came to the logistics of the time-travel, and how things might come to an end, I just wasn’t getting anywhere. Back in the drawer then!
Then came the funeral - the re-burial of the king whose remains had recently been discovered under a car park in Leicester.
Sitting in the service of Compline, in Leicester Cathedral, I found myself drifting into my imagination, and later that evening, the final scenes for the story finally slotted into place, and, bit-by-bit, I got more excited about the tale. So I started working on the story again, on-and-off, during 2015, and it gradually came together. At the same time, though, I had also been working on Kindred Spirits: Tower of London, and was thrilled to bits that Crooked Cat Books had decided to take it on, due to publish in October of the same year. Clearly, that was where my focus had to lie: with the book that was definitely going somewhere, rather than the one which wasn’t even finished.
Fast-forward to January 2017, and once again, that drawer started to rattle at me.
This time though, I decided I wanted to finish it, and when I got into it, yes, it wasn’t a Mills & Boon, but it could still be something, and this time it was a story I was enjoying telling. I really focused on those sections which had caused me problems before, not just giving up this time. Feedback from writing friends really helped, and within a few months, I had my final manuscript, ready to go.
Richard III was my romantic hero, and the ebook was released on 2nd October 2017. In the year since, it’s been an enjoyable learning curve, and now I’m excited to be bringing The Last Plantagenet? under the umbrella of Ocelot Press - a co-operation of like-minded authors, publishing independently, but working to support each other in our writing and publications. It’s an exciting time, and a lovely group to be part of. I hope you visit the page, and enjoy browsing the other books we have in store for you!
The Last Plantagenet? is available as an ebook, or on Kindle Unlimited, here.
Jennifer is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots of childhood holidays (she has since moved on to Richard III). She completed her BSc and MSc at the University of Hull, and has worked as a marine environmental consultant since graduating.
Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east reignited Jennifer’s pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and also continues to work on developing her poetic voice, reading at a number of events, and with several pieces available online. Her Kindred Spirits novels are published by Crooked Cat Books and available via Amazon, along with her self-published timeslip novella, The Last Plantagenet? She can be found online at her blog, and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.