It is 1074, 8 years after the fateful Battle of Hastings. Lord Henry De Bois is determined to find the secret community of Robert, an Anglo-Saxon thane. Despite his fervour, all his attempts are met with failure.
When he captures Robert’s young sister, Edith, events are set in motion, affecting everyone involved. Edith is forced into a terrible world of cruelty and deceit, but finds friendship there too.
Will Robert ever learn why Henry hates him so much? Will Edith’s new-found friendships be enough to save her from De Bois? And who is the mysterious stranger in the reedbed who can disappear at will?
When and where do you prefer to write?
I work afternoons and evenings, so the majority of my writing is done in the morning. When I started writing The Year We Lived, I wanted to write each month at the right time of the year. And it worked until February! Then I put it aside in favour of my historical fantasy, Caledon. I came back to it in September, and by the end of October I’d written the entire first draft. So it took me less than a year to write all together, but didn’t quite get written according to my timetable for it!
Do you need peace and quiet when you are writing?
Absolutely not! In fact, I’m happiest when there’s music playing, as long as it’s instrumental, otherwise I tend to end up writing out the lyrics! I have a real affinity with music – it’s my job! – and my sisters (also authors) and I have a special Spotify playlist full of our favourite inspirational music.
If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
Haha! This is a good question! I have actually started co-written books with my sisters. We began a comedy fantasy novel, which we still frequently refer to as a cultural reference, but we never finished it. Maybe one day we’ll get it done!
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Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?
I’d rather be the complicated one. I love characters who are roguish but generally caring underneath. May favourite character in The Year We Lived is the fool, because he has a real darkness in him which he battles throughout the book. Ultimately, though, his heart is good. I like to think my namesake would be a bit like that!
Who would you like/have liked to interview?
I’m a terrible interviewer! I’ve tried it, but I end up going off on so many tangents I can never seem to get back on track. But if I could have a conversation over tea and cakes with anyone, I think I’d choose Thomas Douglas (5th Earl of Selkirk). During my degree, I found an advert in a Highland newspaper testing the water over the topic of emigration, which I am 95% certain he was behind. I’d like to know if my suspicions were right!
Where can I find you when you are reading?
Bed! I do all my reading in bed, and all my writing during the day. There is a good reason for this: if I start reading a book I enjoy, I won’t stop for anything. This is just not conducive to having a job!!!
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Where can I find you when you are not writing/reading?
Either teaching music or walking my spaniel, Orlando. From time to time I turn my hand to arts and crafts, but writing is certainly my main hobby. And when I’m drawing, it’s usually
linked in to one story or another. I don’t think I’ve done any artwork for The Year We Lived, though!
What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?
To be honest, I do stroke my books! And I sniff them! To me, reading is a fully immersive activity. But, in terms of emotion, I usually feel proud and relieved to have got to this point. Then I feel scared in case I’m making a big mistake putting the book out there! And I wonder who else will be getting a copy of the book and what they’ll think to it.
How do you come up with a title for your book?
I usually really struggle with this and generally have to bounce around ideas with my publisher. But The Year We Lived just made sense on two levels. It runs for twelve months, from January to December, so I knew I wanted a reference to that. But I was quite pleased with the double meaning of the title. It means not only the year we lived through, but also the year we fully lived. I knew it was a good title because I didn’t have to have *that* conversation with my publisher!
How do you pick a cover for your book?
I’m really lucky, because the design team in Crowvus (my publisher) see my books in a similar way to how I view them. Normally, they put together a cover, send it across, I review it, and we work together to make it perfect. I’m not going to lie, though, I love the cover to The Year We Lived and had no suggestions to make on it!
Thank you, Virginia Crow and The Coffee Pot Book Club
About the Author
Virginia grew up in Orkney, using the breath-taking scenery to fuel her imagination and the writing fire within her. Her favourite genres to write are fantasy and historical fiction, sometimes mixing the two together such as her newly-published book “Caledon”. She enjoys swashbuckling stories such as the Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas and is still waiting for a screen adaption that lives up to the book!
When she’s not writing, Virginia is usually to be found teaching music, and obtained her MLitt in “History of the Highlands and Islands” last year. She believes wholeheartedly in the power of music, especially as a tool of inspiration. She also helps out with the John O’Groats Book Festival which is celebrating its 3rd year this April.
She now lives in the far flung corner of Scotland, soaking in inspiration from the rugged cliffs and miles of sandy beaches. She loves cheese, music and films, but hates mushrooms.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Virginia-Crow/e/B078QBNYFB
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08TWYNBCP
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08TWYNBCP
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08TWYNBCP
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B08TWYNBCP