A hundred year old mystery, the widow left behind, a fallen soldier, the abandoned fiancée, an unnamed body and the young student determined to find the truth.
In 1886 famous English poet Edward Barrington moves from Derbyshire, England to a farm on the Finniss River, in South Australia. Two years later he disappears.
25 years later Archie Hargraves abandons his fiancée Clara and travels from England to meet with Edward’s widow, Rosalind. He plans to write a biography and make a name for himself, independent from his wealthy father. Returning to England in 1914 he abandons his work to join the war in Europe. His journal of notes from Australia is never released.
Ellie Cannon, a young PhD candidate at Sydney University, is writing a thesis on one of Barrington’s last known poems, The Fall. It’s not going well. Struggling with her relationship with her mother and loss of her father, Ellie is on the brink of failure.
Then a body is found by the Finniss River, 130 years after Edward’s disappearance. Could it be the famous poet?
The discovery draws Ellie into the worlds of Edward, Archie and Clara, taking her across Australia and England in her search for the truth.
Covering life in remote South Australia, the social pressures of 1900s Britain and the historical role of women, Widow’s Lace is an historical fiction, mystery cross-over dealing with themes of obsession, fear, love, inner-secrets and regret. But also the hope that can come from despair.
When and where do you prefer to write?
If it were completely up to me, I would love to write in the mornings. My perfect writing day would be to get up, do a 30 minute yoga session, grab some breakfast and a coffee, then sit down and write until lunch.
As it is I can enjoy this ‘perfect writing day’ every weekend. But during the week my writing happens after work hours, usually between 7pm- 12 midnight.
I always write at my desk. I have crafted a space where I have everything I need to hand: my notebook, speakers for some music distraction and a comfy spot for my writing companion (my cat Jasmine).
Do you need peace and quiet when you are writing?
Not really. I prefer silence or soft instrumental music, but I have become quite good at tuning out other noises. I think this skill comes from having worked as a school teacher, and learning to mark essays in a shared office space.
The only thing that really challenges me is music with insistent lyrics or talk-back radio. The words cut into my brain and I find myself trying to write and listen at the same time. It has resulted in some amusing combined sentences though!
If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
Roald Dahl. Even though I am not a children’s author, I am truly passionate about this genre. Literacy is such an important pillar of education that all children deserve to enjoy discovering and mastering.
As a child I hated reading. My parents struggled to get me to stick with any book, until they brought home Roald Dahl’s The Witches. I haven’t looked back since. A good book can open up the world of literature to a child, and I think that’s pretty wonderful. So to be a part of that would be very special.
Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?
Definitely the ‘bad one’. Because it is just so opposite of my real-life personality that I would enjoy the contrast. Who knows, it might release something deep inside, haha.
Who would you like/have liked to interview?
I would LOVE to interview fantasy author Robin Hobb. She is my favourite author, and an absolute master of world-building and crafting characters that are authentic and real. She also loves gardening and cats, just like me. I would love to talk about her writing process and creative journey. I believe I could learn so much from her.
And I think we might get along too!
Where can I find you when you are reading?
Curled up on my couch with a glass of wine (on weekends) or cup of tea and Jasmine snuggled against my leg. My husband Ryan is usually there too, playing video games on his PlayStation. Don’t worry, he wears headphones so Jazzy and I are not disturbed.
Where can I find you wen you are not writing/reading?
Somewhere in nature, preferably near a water source like a river or the coast, enjoying a long walk. Nature walks are another of my passions. I think it is a learned passion, gleaned from my mother. She grew up in a very poor country town in South Australia and experienced some truly harrowing incidents in her youth. Her escape was always to ‘go bush’. She would just leave the house and walk for hours through the gum trees, barefoot in the sand. It gave her peace. When I was a child it was something she and I did regularly together and it is a habit I have continued into my adulthood. Mum and I still catch up regularly and go walking.
For me though walking is not an escape in the same way it was for my mum. Rather it is a way to release my mind from the rigours of the day and just be relaxed. If I am suffering from writer’s block, a long walk is always the perfect cure, so I always take a notebook, just in case.
What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?
Oh wow, just… gratitude. Whilst I am so very proud of myself for having written two books (so far), I am also acutely aware of the privileges in my life that have allowed me to achieve. Yes, writing a novel takes internal tenacity and determination. It also takes creativity, patience and practice. And I am rightly proud of myself for doing the hard work to get to where I am today.
But I didn’t get here alone. I have lived a very fortunate life. From being born to loving parents who truly wanted the best for me and who valued education. To growing up in a country like Australia, with access to good schools and affordable university. I have been able to find solid and consistent employment, first as a high school teacher and now as a web developer, which has meant not just financial security, but also the ability to travel and experience other places and cultures.
All these things have allowed me the space to learn and grow as a person, and later as a writer and have contributed to my being able to publish my two novels.
So when I hold my novels in my hands, gratitude is foremost in my mind, pride too and excitement, but definitely a since of gratefulness. And then the driving desire to do it all again!
How do you come up with a title for your book?
Titles take me ages! I am terrible at coming up with them. Usually I will sit down and write out a list of themes and words that relate to my story. Then I will play with sentences, trying to distill the main concept into a few words or a symbol.
And finally, I will just ask my husband and he will come up with something amazing!
How do you pick a cover for your book?
The covers for my novels Widow’s Lace and The Unsound Sister were both designed by my husband. We sit down together and discuss colours and images that relate to the storyline. Then he will play around with some concepts in Photoshop and I will make coffee and watch over his shoulder. Once we have a few concepts we think we like, we go away for a few days and then come back to it fresh. Usually after that break the right one just pops!
I will be trying a new approach with my next novel, White Cove. A dear friend of mine is a painter and she has agreed to paint an image for my cover. Really excited to see what she comes up with!
Thank you, Lelita Baldock and The Coffee Pot Book Club
About the Author
Lelita has a passion for stories, especially those with a dark undercurrent, or a twist to be revealed.
She hopes to tell interesting stories that people will find themselves drawn into. Stories that are for entertainment and escape, and hopefully a little thrill of the unexpected. She truly enjoys the experience of writing, exploring human traits and reactions as well as the darkness that can lurk unexpectedly inside anyone.
Born and raised in Adelaide, Australia, Lelita holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English and History from the University of Adelaide and a Bachelor of Education from The University of South Australia. During her twenties she worked as an English teacher in both Australia and the United Kingdom, working with the International Baccalaureate curriculum.
Now Lelita and her husband run a web development business, and she makes time for writing after hours and on weekends. It can mean long days and late nights, but she doesn’t mind, stories are her passion.
Lelita’s long term goal as a writer is to be able to publish her stories regularly and hopefully appeal to a wide range of readers.
Lelita currently resides in the United Kingdom with her husband Ryan and beloved rescue-cat, Jasmine.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lelita-Baldock/e/B086L53M1G
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B086BDLP3X
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086BDLP3X
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B086BDLP3X
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B086BDLP3X