Today in the Library we have Dominic Fielder who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into his life as an author.
You are very welcome, Dominic, please introduce yourself:
I’ve held a variety of working posts, some I’ve been good at, and others appalling. Before the world of Marvel and DC became popular, I ran a comic book store and worked for my parents’ family book business (which ran for 61 years and only recently closed). Either side of that, I worked in the Banking and Insurance sector, when such jobs seemed glamourous, but really weren’t, and as a telephone sales and alarm services clerk, which never seemed glamourous but allowed me to meet some interesting characters.
I undertook a History degree and after achieving First class honours had a change of direction in life.
A father’s legacy can be a blessing or a curse… AD658: The sons of Penda of Mercia have come of age. Ethelred, the youngest, recalls little of past wars while Wulf is determined to emulate their father, whose quest to avenge his betrayed kinswomen drew him to battle three successive Northumbrian kings. Ecgfrith of Northumbria is more hostile towards the Mercians than his father was. His sister Ositha, thwarted in her marriage plans, seeks to make her mark in other ways, but can she, when called upon, do her brother’s murderous bidding? Ethelred finds love with a woman who is not involved in the feud, but fate intervenes. Wulf’s actions against Northumbria mean Ethelred must choose duty over love, until he, like his father before him, has cause to avenge the women closest to him. Battle must once more be joined, but the price of victory will be high. Can Ethelred stay true to his father’s values, end the feud, keep Mercia free, and find the path back to love? This is the second of the two-book series, Tale of the Iclingas, which began with Cometh the Hour, but can be read as a standalone.
Today, I am delighted to feature the new release from Daisy Wood, The Clockmaker’s Wife. What’s more, I can highly recommend this WW2 story as I read the book recently and thoroughly enjoyed it.
The Clockmaker’s Wife
‘A ticking time-bomb of intrigue, wrapped around stark but rich descriptions of the Blitz. An unforgettable war-time debut.’ Mandy Robotham, author of The Berlin Girl
It’s the height of the Blitz in 1940, and too dangerous for Nell Spelman and her baby daughter, Alice, to stay in London. She must leave behind her husband, Arthur, one of the clockmakers responsible for keeping Big Ben tolling. The huge clock at the Palace of Westminster has become a symbol of hope in Britain’s darkest hour, and must be protected at all costs. When Arthur disappears in mysterious circumstances, Nell suspects evil forces are at work and returns to the war-torn city to save both the man and the country she loves.
Over eighty years later in New York, Alice’s daughter Ellie finds a beautiful watch with a cracked face among her mother’s possessions, and decides to find out more about the grandmother she never knew. Her search takes her to England, where her relatives are hiding shocking secrets of their own, and where she begins to wonder whether the past might be better left alone. Could her grandparents possibly have been traitors at the heart of the British establishment? Yet Ellie feels Nell at her shoulder, guiding her towards a truth which is more extraordinary than she could ever have imagined.
Daisy Wood worked as an editor in children’s publishing for several years before starting to write stories of her own. She has had over twenty children’s books published under various names, including the ‘Swallowcliffe Hall’ series for teens, based around an English country house through the years and the servants who keep it running. She loves the process of historical research and is a keen member of the London Library, which houses a wonderful collection of old magazines and newspapers as well as books. The Clockmaker’s Wife is her first published novel for adults. She studied English Literature at Bristol University and recently completed a Creative Writing MA at City University in London, where she lives with her husband, a rescue dog from Greece and a fluffy grey cat.
John Anthony Miller was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to a father of English ancestry and a second-generation Italian mother. Motivated by a life-long love of travel and history, he normally sets his novels in exotic locations during eras of global conflict. Characters must cope and combat, overcoming their own weaknesses as well as external influences spawned by tumultuous times. He’s the author of seven historical thrillers and mysteries, as well as Song of Gabrielle. He lives in southern New Jersey with his family.
Eighty years ago, a German pilot dropped four bombs on neutral Dublin City
Ireland was still recovering from the War of Independence from Britain and the Irish Civil War, when WW2 broke out in Europe. The government at the time, led by Eamonn de Valera, declared Ireland was a neutral country. Ireland had neither the manpower nor the resources to become involved in the conflict. Relations with Britain were already strained and Ireland’s stance made Churchill furious.
Ireland’s neutrality, however, was tilted slightly in favour of the Allies. Downed RAF pilots were quietly escorted to the border with Northern Ireland, while their German counterparts were interned at the Curragh Camp for the duration of the conflict. Perhaps more significantly, the Irish government sent fire crews to Belfast, during the Blitz in April 1941, to help put out the raging fires and dig out the bodies. Immediately after, many Northern Irish refugees made their way to Dublin where they were warmly welcomed.
I grew up a few kilometres from the suburb of North Strand on the north side of Dublin City. As a teenager, I was astonished to discover I lived so close to the spot where a Luftwaffe pilot dropped bombs in the early hours of 31st May 1941. The events of that Whit weekend, echoed the Blitz of Belfast only weeks before, and the bombing of cities such as Liverpool and London, and indeed, many other cities throughout Europe. A taste of the Blitz must have shaken Ireland to its core.
Today, I am delighted to be in the company of fellow Irish historical fiction author, Anne McLoughlin, who has dropped by to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.
You are very welcome, Anne, please introduce yourself:
Born in Dublin, I now divide my time between there and my home in rural Wexford.
With my working life in television production with RTE behind me, I’ve now embarked on a new career in my retirement. Writing a novel was always an ambition, but until recent years I didn’t have a strong enough inspiration to spur me on, but that’s all changed now, since I had a brainwave.
Highly commended in the Colm Tóibín International Short Story Competition in the Wexford Literary Festival, this gave me the encouragement to really get stuck into working on my ‘Lives’ trilogy.
Today, I’m delighted to have fellow Irish historical fiction author, Derville Murphy, in the library. She has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.
You are very welcome, Derville, please introduce yourself:
Hi everyone, delighted to talk to you all! I am a newbie author. But you know, I feel that it was inevitable I would end up writing novels. I started out as an architect – left the profession to study art history – fell in love with academia – and got hooked on writing. Now I am fortunate enough to be able to do what I really enjoy – I paint, and I write novels. I live in Dublin, I am married with two children and two adorable twin grandchildren.
Essex – Tudor Rebel (The Elizabethan Series Book 2)
Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, is one of the most intriguing men of the Elizabethan period. Tall and handsome, he soon becomes a ‘favourite’ at court, so close to the queen many wonder if they are lovers. The truth is far more complex, as each has what the other yearns for. Robert Devereux longs for recognition, wealth and influence. His flamboyant naïveté amuses the ageing Queen Elizabeth, like the son she never had, and his vitality makes her feel young. Robert Devereux’s remarkable true story continues the epic tale of the rise of the Tudors, which began with the bestselling Tudor trilogy and concludes with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.