My guest today is a regular visitor to my blog: my dear friend and fellow-author Jennifer C Wilson. Once again I had the pleasure of working with Jen as editor of the latest addition to her wonderful Kindred Spirits series. Not that it needed very much editing - she's really excelled herself this time.
Welcome back, Jen!
Hi Sue, and thanks for inviting me on to your blog today.
The launch of Kindred Spirits: York is just around the corner, and once again, this all started with some very intense research ‘on location’. I’ve said so many times that for me, getting under the skin of a place is so important. You can read so much about the history of a location, but there’s nothing quite like wandering around, picking up the atmosphere and feel of it.
Having spent so much time in York as a child, I genuinely thought that, apart from a couple of specific visits to historic locations, to ‘check’ what I thought I remembered about them, there wouldn’t be much to the day. How wrong I was. Not having had a day out with my mum for a while, we decided to head down together, and make a day of it. Doing some pre-visit research, it struck me just how many of York’s ghosts liked to frequent pubs (kindred ‘spirits’ indeed!), and having never been in many of them, it seemed sensible to add one or two into our route around the various museums and buildings.
Ok, fine, my mum and I went on a pub-crawl.
And it was great! Obviously, when you’re a child, pubs don’t really feature in days out, but this time around, it was great, visiting places like The Black Swan, on the edge of the city centre, which I had decided would be a key location in the novel. To make things even, we visited The White Swan too, and that’s made its way into the book as well. There were also some more quirky locations to visit, such as The Blue Boar, reputed to be the place where Dick Turpin’s body was moved to, following his execution.
We did visit some places not serving alcohol too, in case you’re wondering – including two religious buildings which were a complete revelation to me: Holy Trinity Church on Goodramgate, and St Margaret’s Chapel, in The Shambles. Both of these are so tucked away, hidden in plain sight really, and both discovered through sheer luck. I knew about the chapel in The Shambles (thanks Sue!), but finding it was another matter – it just looks like any other shopfront. But Holy Trinity, that was a fluke. We happened to see a group of people walk through an open gate, and, seeing a sign for a craft fair inside, decided to follow them. It was simply stunning, and I can highly recommend a visit. I’d never seen box pews before, and this is apparently a fantastic example of them.
See, I can do culture too!
So please, come and follow my explorations, and those I’ve sent the lovely ghosts of York on, from the 31st January, but available to pre-order now.
About the books:
In the Kindred Spirits series, we meet the ghosts of historical characters, in a range of contemporary settings. Have you ever wondered what Richard III and Anne Boleyn might have in common, what Mary, Queen of Scots is getting up to now, or what happens when the visitors leave some of the most popular attractions in the country? Well, here’s your chance!
In the fourth of the series, we’re heading to York, and a whole new community of ghosts are ready to greet us, including some visiting favourites, taking advantage of a much speedier transport system than they were ever used to…
Kindred Spirits: York
Release date: 31st January 2019
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books
Genre: Paranormal historical fiction
In the ancient city of York, something sinister is stirring...
What do a highwayman, an infamous traitor, and two hardened soldiers have in common? Centuries of friendship, a duty to the town, and a sense of mischief – until they realise that someone is trying to bring chaos to their home.
Joining forces with local Vikings, the four friends keep an eye on the situation, but then, disaster strikes.
Can peace be restored both inside and out of the city walls?
Praise for the Kindred Spirits series:
“A light-hearted, humorous, and at times tender read which you'll enjoy whether you like history or not.”
“This light-hearted, imaginative read is a new take on historical fiction but make no mistake, this is not only a fun read but an educational tool.”
“A brilliantly unique idea from a distinctive new voice in fiction.”
“A darn good read.”
Praise for Kindred Spirits: York
Another joyous ghostly romp from the pen of Jennifer C.Wilson. The nightly ghost walks around the ancient city of York will never seem the same again after you read this - with its tales of kings and queens, saints and sinners (Dick Turpin and Guy Fawkes, anyone?), spending their afterlives among the iconic streets and sites of the town they frequented in life. But this is no sleepy existence: unruly spirits are disrupting the lives of both the living and the dead. With Romans, Vikings, medieval warriors and traitors to the Crown never the most natural of companions, it takes little to stir them up to wreak some light-hearted ghostly havoc - until, that is, events take a shocking turn...
With early special guest appearances from some of my own favourite Yorkists (and a less-agreeable Tudor hanger-on) visiting a city they once loved, the book offers another sparkling cast of the dearly (not-quite) departed. What’s not to like? Except thinking once again ‘I wish I’d had that idea!’ – Alex Marchant, author of The Order of the White Boar.
I love this series and it’s going from strength to strength. This one was great; the author has created a little gem. From Richard III taking a day trip to Harry Hotspur, Dick Turpin and Guy Fawkes protecting their city, this is probably my favourite so far. Really looking forward to seeing where the author has us visiting next. – Amazon Reviewer.
Jennifer C. Wilson is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history and historical fiction whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots on childhood holidays (she has since moved on to Richard III). Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east of England for work reignited her pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since.
In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and has been working on a number of projects since, including co-hosting the North Tyneside Writers’ Circle. Her Kindred Spirits novels are published by Crooked Cat Books, and her timeslip novella (The Last Plantagenet?) by Ocelot Press.
She lives in North Tyneside, and is very proud of her approximately 2-inch sea view.