Regency England. A land of oppression and social discontent.
Arthur Thistlewood is fighting for a revolution. Susan Thistlewood is fighting for freedom. From Arthur.
Battered and bruised by her violent husband, Susan finds comfort in food and books. As Arthur’s legal property, leaving the marriage seems an impossible dream — until a chance encounter with a charismatic Bow Street Runner. In the sanctuary of an inconspicuous London bookshop, the Runner’s easy manner and unexpected generosity compel Susan to pursue a life without her husband.
But will the Bow Street officer provide a key to Susan’s freedom? Or will he place her in the greatest danger of all?
Inspired by true events from the Cato Street Conspiracy of 1820, this is a tale of courage, determination, and love.
Hello! Thank you so much for taking an interest in me and my books! These are the answers to the Q&A sheet I received.
– When and where do you prefer to write?
I’m at my most creative in the mornings. Ideally, I like to be at my desk by 8am, and if the ideas are flowing, I’ll work through until about 1pm. By then, I’m ready for something to eat! I have a cosy downstairs study overlooking our front garden. It’s a quiet room, comfortable, and an easy space in which to get absorbed in which ever project I’m working on.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
No, not really. The main thing is that I have peace and quiet for working. I have a couple of special pens that I like to write with when sketching out plot ideas, and I like a desk diary with pictures on every page. The current diary has beautiful nature illustrations. I invariably have a long list of tasks to get through, and a pretty picture on the page takes the edge off the pressure of the timetable I set myself most days.
– Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?
Earl Grey tea! I’m not good at remembering to take breaks, but my husband’s great and keeping me hydrated. He makes a fab cup of tea even though he only drinks coffee.
– What is your favourite book?
Gosh, that’s a tough one. I love books by Lucinda Riley, Philippa Gregory and Kate Furnival. To pick a single favourite is almost impossible, and my opinion might change from one week to the next. This week, I’ll say my favourite of all time is ‘The Book of Night Women’ by Marlon James. It’s a gritty, moving tale about brutality to slaves on a Jamaican sugar plantation in the late eighteenth century. The story is told by Lilith, a house servant, and it’s a fabulous piece of writing that encapsulates why slavery is wrong on so many levels. Definitely memorable.
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
I’m a member of the Plymouth Writers Group and write short stories for our monthly assignments. My short stories are rarely historical, and often gravitate towards dark themes. I don’t think I’d leave historical fiction when it comes to writing novels though – but never say never!
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Character traits, yes. Complete characters, no. Not that I’ll admit to anyway!
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
I use a notes app on my phone. It’s not unusual for me to reach for my phone in the middle of the night and make copious notes on an idea for a novel, or a scene for a work in progress. I often don’t sleep well, so I use periods of insomnia for thinking about my storylines.
– Which genre do you not like at all?
Horror. It gave me nightmares. I can’t remember the last time I read a horror novel.
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
Probably Lucinda Riley. I love her books and it would wonderful to learn about how she puts her stories together and learn from her in the process.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
Actually, I’d like to time travel in England rather than travel abroad. First, I would visit the era of the current work in progress (early seventeenth century) to really experience it for myself. Then I’d travel further back in time. I have a particular fascination for the Tudor period, and I’d love to eavesdrop on “normal” people going about their everyday lives.
If I had to choose another country, it would be Barbados. I love the people, the culture, the island, the climate and the food, so why not combine all that with two or three weeks of researching and plotting a story? Hang on a minute, I have an idea for a novel. Now where’s my passport…?
Thank you, Dionne Haynes (love the little note 🙂 ) and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Dionne is a retired doctor, living in Plymouth with her husband. She has a passion for history, the great outdoors, good food and life in general. With her medical career now well behind her, she is enjoying a second career as an author.
In 2015, Dionne finished writing her first novel The Provenance of Lilly, but after careful reflection and consideration of some harsh criticism, she decided not to put it into print. Instead, she worked hard at honing her writing skills, and published her debut novel, Running With The Wind, in 2019. She is currently working on a sequel which will form Book One of The Trelawney Wives series.
Dionne graduated from St George’s Hospital Medical School in 1992, and started her medical career in the Royal Air Force. In 1998, she left the military to have her son, and worked in General Practice and Occupational Medicine. The opportunity to retire came in 2014 and Dionne did not hesitate to take it, relishing the opportunity to delve into history books and begin her writing career. Although no longer practising medicine, her medical background has some influence in the plotting of her stories.
While keen to maintain historical accuracy in her writing, Dionne creates stories from real events with sparse recorded details, allowing her imagination to take over and tell a tale of what may have occurred.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dionne-Haynes/e/B0813VDWN9