Historical Fiction Author of the Month: Carol Hedges

Welcome to my new Blog Series, Historical Fiction Author of the Month.

Each month, I will showcase a different historical fiction author. Their books will range from romance to mystery and adventure, and will be from many different eras. I hope you discover a new author and their work to enjoy. Happy reading!

In this post, I am delighted to feature author, Carol Hedges, whose Victorian series I love.

Carol Hedges

Carol Hedges

I am 72, and a UK writer of 18 books for Teenagers/Young Adults and Adults. My writing has received much critical acclaim, and my novel Jigsaw was long-listed for the Carnegie Medal.

I am probably best known, however, as the author of ‘The Victorian Detectives’ ~ a series of ten novels set in 1860s London and featuring Detective Inspector Leo Stride and his side-kick Detective Sergeant Jack Cully, who work for the detective division of Scotland Yard.

I live in Hertfordshire with a Tortie-Siamese cat called Halley, who thinks my writing chair belongs to her, a husband (we’ve been married for 48 years) and a lot of pond fish. When not writing/sleeping/trying to resist cake. I am a political activist ~ and can be seen outside the Houses of Parliament, protesting against this government and its policies. I have two grandchildren, both sadly now domiciled in New York, one of whom is the star of a series of blogs called The Adventures of L-Plate Gran, which I wrote while looking after her. 

Recently I have started learning Yiddish, partly to reconnect with my family’s German Jewish past (I lost my paternal grandparents during the Holocaust) and stop my aged brain from deteriorating. Mazel tov! I’m currently blogging about this experience as The Adventures of L-Plate Bubbe.

Although I have been published by two big mainstream publishers, I am now self-published under the imprint Little G Books. My work is available via Amazon in print and ebook format.

What enticed you to write in this genre?

I never intended to write a historical fiction novel, let alone a whole series. For many years, I was a children’s author, published by OUP and Usborne. I had a top London agent. I appeared at the Edinburgh and Cheltenham Literary Festivals. But fate intervened. In 2008, there was a banking crash, and as a result, publishers of children’s fiction decided to cut back on mid-list writers like me and invest in celebs, pop stars and already known writers instead. Suddenly, I found myself with no publisher interested in reading my manuscripts. But I couldn’t NOT write ~ that was like not breathing! So I decided to move genre, and wrote Diamonds & Dust ~ a one off, quirky first-person slightly Goth Victorian detective novel . My agent hated it and refused point blank to submit it. So we parted company, and, long story short, I decided the way forward for me was to take control and self publish.

Looking back, it was a logical progression. My degree was in English Literature, specialising in the Victorian period. I loved reading Dickens and his contemporaries, researching the period and immersing myself in every aspect of the era. Ten books later and a lot of lovely appreciative readers, [including me, Carol!] here I am. Grateful for the chance to share my writing and my passion with you, the reader.

Some Reviews …

“As always, Carol Hedges brings Victorian London and its inhabitants to vibrant and atmospheric life with evocatively distinctive and descriptive prose. The multilayered mystery is told from various perspectives in the present tense, which puts the reader right at the scene, and there’s a varied cast of characters, ranging from despicable to engaging. Cleverly written dialogue gives insights into characters’ personalities and motivations. ” (Cathy Ryan)

“Carol Hedges skilfully weaves these stories together, with echoes of Dickens and Conan Doyle. The writer has done her research but displays it with a light touch. She paints a vivid picture – warts and all – of Victorian London. All our senses are in play here. The characters are well drawn, entirely believable and I had no trouble distinguishing them.” (Sandra Firth)

Social Media Links:

    Explore Carol’s Books

    Universal link: Author.to/Victoriancrime

    I’m delighted to share the news that next month’s author is Stella Riley

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