How can you uphold a lie when you know it might destroy your family?

It is 1356, seven years since the Black Death ravaged Meonbridge, turning society upside down. Margaret, Lady de Bohun, is horrified when her husband lies about their grandson Dickon’s entitlement to inherit Meonbridge. She knows that Richard lied for the very best of reasons – to safeguard his family and its future – but lying is a sin. Yet she has no option but to maintain her husband’s falsehood…

Margaret’s companion, Matilda Fletcher, decides that the truth about young Dickon’s birth really must be told, if only to Thorkell Boune, the man she’s set her heart on winning. But Matilda’s “honesty” serves only her own interests, and she’s oblivious to the potential for disaster.

For Thorkell won’t scruple to pursue exactly what he wants, by whatever means are necessary, no matter who or what gets in his way…

 

 

Q&A

***

-When and where do you prefer to write?

In terms of “where”, I do actually have an office in my house. I worked from home, as a technical author, for three decades, so I’ve almost always had a “room of my own”. So that is usually where I write my novels. It’s a good place to write because it’s light and comfortable, I have all my important books around me, and my computer has a very large screen. Having said that, I do sometimes write – on a laptop – elsewhere in the house, including the kitchen, the dining room and the garden, or indeed away from home when necessary. As for “when”, well, just about any time. I’m retired from full-time work, so I can please myself when I write. I daresay I should still have some sort of schedule but I’m afraid I don’t. I write at any time of day, for a couple of hours or lots of hours at a time. Though if I’m getting towards the end of a first draft, I’m quite likely just to keep going even into the wee small hours, in the urgent need to finish…

– Do you have a certain ritual?

No, no ritual at all. My writing is pretty ad hoc

Is there a drink or some food that keeps you company while you write?

Not really, though I do drink quite a lot of tea – mostly decaffeinated Indian tea but sometimes ginger or camomile…

What is your favourite book?

I have many favourites, but I will choose the Luttrell Psalter, a massive 14th century book of prayers that is lavishly illuminated with images of mediaeval life and of the most extraordinarily bizarre creatures. I have a facsimile of it (it lives in the British Library) and I love it to bits. I couldn’t bear to be parted from it!

Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?

Before I embarked on writing historical fiction, I’d written one and a half contemporary women’s novels (or perhaps “domestic noir”). I still quite like those stories and the characters and I do have in the back of my mind that, some day, I might try and polish the first one and finish the second. I’d like to do that. I’ve tried writing children’s fiction too, but I don’t think I’m much good at it, so I probably won’t go back to that… I really enjoy reading crime fiction and would love to be able to write a juicy murder mystery but I honestly can’t imagine ever being able to! So, no, I think, on balance, I’ll probably stick to histfic!

Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?

No, I can honestly say that I never have…

-Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that popup?

Well, I know I should do but I mostly forget. But I do always have my phone with me so, if I think of something while I’m out, I can always make a note of it in the Notes app, and I have been known to dictate into it a brilliant snippet of scene or dialogue that’s just popped into my head!

-Which genre do you not like at all?

I don’t know really. I never read erotica, or raunchy romance, so I guess I don’t like those. But also I hardly ever read anything that might be science fiction or fantasy, but I don’t think that’s because I don’t like either of them, just that there are so many other books to read that I find more immediately appealing!

-If you had the chance to co-write a book, whom would it be with?

I can’t imagine sharing writing with someone else. I’m much too self-centred to do that. So I’m afraid I’ll have to pass on that question.

-If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?

My Meonbridge Chronicles are set in England, so I’ve no need of research trips to foreign parts. But I do have an as-yet-unpublished novel, also set mostly in 14th century England but which has a few scenes set in Genoa, in Italy. I haven’t been there, so a research trip would be very pleasant, if not strictly essential…

Thank you, Carolyn Hughes  and Rachel’s Random Resources.

About the author 

CAROLYN HUGHES was born in London, but has lived most of her life in Hampshire. After completing a degree in Classics and English, she started her working life as a computer programmer, in those days a very new profession. But it was when she discovered technical authoring that she knew she had found her vocation. She spent the next few decades writing and editing all sorts of material, some fascinating, some dull, for a wide variety of clients, including an international hotel group, medical instrument manufacturers and the government.

She has written creatively for most of her adult life, but it was not until her children grew up and flew the nest several years ago that writing historical fiction took centre stage in her life. She has a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Portsmouth University and a PhD from the University of Southampton.

De Bohun’s Destiny is the third novel in the MEONBRIDGE CHRONICLES series. A fourth novel is under way.

You can connect with Carolyn through her website http://www.carolynhughesauthor.com and social media:

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Twitter: @writingcalliope

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