My fictional ‘Lord George Wilde’s Circus’ (© Drew Thomas 2014) took shape at a pace that makes it seem that it was there anyway and that I just had to find it.
‘Lord’ George Wilde (deceased) b.1893 = Wilhelmina b.1894
‘Lord’ George Wilde b. 1924 = Mary (nee Tapley) b.1948
‘Lord’ George Wilde Jnr. b. 1972 = Amelia (Mel) Wilde b.1973
‘Lord’ Georgie b.1995 & ‘Lady’ Sarah b. 1997
‘THE SHOCKING SINS OF THE MOTHER-IN-LAW’ (Amelia Wilde 1) is now complete.
Future titles in the series:
DICING WITH DEATH AT GOD’S ACRES (Amelia Wilde 2)
PREMEDITATED PRANKS IN PARIS (Amelia Wilde 3)
MALICIOUS MURDER AT MONTE CARLO (Amelia Wilde 4)
CELEBRITY SLAUGHTER IN THE COTSWOLDS (Amelia Wilde 5)
I was asked the other day by a man who came to see if I was eligible for solar panels (shortly before he fell off the roof & decided I wasn’t) where my inspiration comes from. This was just after he’d told me that he and his wife like to – for enjoyment – hide behind the shed at the bottom of their garden and watch their neighbours cook (well, I think he said cook, but he was from Barnsley).
Inspiration for settings is easy – they’re all around. Here are a few of those that inspired The Hairdresser’s Tale:
Wimpole’s Tower (Felcher’s Folly)
Valletta viewed from Fortina Hotel
A Palazzo not unlike Palazzo Botigliani – Valletta
Second in a series of four novels inspired by a Gallup poll completed in 2009 showing that 700 million people worldwide thought that the grass was greener on the other side of the fence and wanted to move permanently to another country.
Diana De Gonia is the doyenne of Palazzo Botigliani in Valletta, Malta, as the British-born widow of the last Baron di Migarro. She opens it to the public on a daily basis, but is beset with problems, both financial and personal, as she fights to keep the grand house and its collection of artefacts safe from financial ruin and claims from pretenders to her late husband’s title.
Bound by a promise to her late husband to keep the place intact for his long-lost son and heir, she can’t help feeling trapped and desperate until evidence that the heir exists gives her hope of escape.
Assisted by a devoted Bulgarian sidekick and an enthusiastically destructive Maltese cleaner, she meets constant opposition from government officials, the bank, her late husband’s relatives and the weather, which alternates between extreme heat and torrential rain. Angry that the love of her life was taken from her, she soldiers on with her daily battle, but is unable to avoid yearning for life in the pub in England in which she spent her formative years. This yearning is made all the more poignant by the fact that, although the pub was bought by her husband years earlier as an investment, it must now be sold to finance essential repairs at the palazzo.
Diana travels to England to finalise the sale of the pub and to investigate the man who claims to be her late husband’s son and heir. Will the heir apparent prove to be genuine and, if he is, will he want to be saddled with the responsibility? If he does, will the irony that the pub has to be sold be too much for her to bear?
First in a series of four novels inspired by a Gallup poll completed in 2009 showing that 700 million people worldwide wanted to move permanently to another country.
Peter Roper, who runs a hairdressing salon in the Midlands, collects miniature portraits to alleviate his feelings of mediocrity. Although he has worked in the same village for almost all of his thirty-nine years with a dictatorial mother who will entertain no mention of his absent father, he has never felt that he belonged. Always plagued with remorse for having handled his love life very badly in the past, the two problems currently overriding this are a suspicion that he caused his mother’s sudden death and confirmation that a planned high speed railway will obliterate the historic monument he calls home.
Further turmoil follows when, in the process of organising his mother’s funeral, he discovers that he is not who he thought he was. To knock him further off balance, the visit of an enigmatic stranger to the salon points him in the direction of an aristocratic heritage.
Lured to a Mediterranean island by possibilities beyond his wildest dreams, Peter is exhilarated by his first experience of foreign travel and thinks he may have found his true destiny until he suddenly finds himself in grave danger. Has his dissatisfaction with life and search for pastures new led to an early demise?
In the space of four days – the week before last – I was on the red carpet at the Olivier Awards, building a new living wagon that’s going to be my new guest bedroom, erecting a fence in my Dad’s chicken pen, embarking on a mammoth cleaning job in my newly acquired home (which hadn’t seen a hint of a damp cloth or a squirt of Jif in 15 years but has a remarkable view) and performing as a willing but inexperienced chimney sweep…
…and of course slaving away with the final edit of THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER tetralogy.
Should I be flattered or annoyed?
“…this is a well crafted novel with terrific characterisation and a sinister storyline that lives up to the promises and remains shocking till the very end.”
Since I hadn’t seen Buranovskiye Babushki – the Eurovision Russian Grannies – until the live final on Saturday (yes, I’ve been busy being creative), it was the first chance I had to be overwhelmingly reminded of Laurie Graham’s excellent novel ‘Life According to Lubka’.
Life so often imitates fiction (as opposed to the other way around) and in this case I really think it deserves a mention. Laurie Graham is just about my all-time favourite author – I’m reading her excellent ‘At Sea’ at the moment – but for anyone who hasn’t yet discovered her original, quirky and delightful brand of fiction, do so now!