I’ve just finished reading the most sensational, passionate and powerful novel ever. I really couldn’t put it down until the last word was read. The hero out-Heathcliffes Heathcliffe. It makes Shades of Grey look colourless. The heroine was the source for The French Lieutenant’s Woman, John Fowle’s smash hit novel. I’ll tell you more when I’ve had chance to get my thoughts in order. Wow! What a story! It should never be out of print.
Most historical fiction is divided by publishers into ‘sword and slaughters’ with snarling, blood-stained brutes on the covers or the girlie sort, all busts and bodices. Presumably this is for the convenience of the salesmen – like labelling cans of beans so they can offload them in bulk. I find it limiting, unrealistic and neither type fits with what I want to write. Of course my characters, both fictional and real, sometimes confront each other in a violent and bloody manner and they lust and love and, I hope, show more subtle feelings like characters in literary novels who express something authentic about real life. But this rose pink or all black division bores me. I suppose I’m out of step with current marketing patterns. So be it. I’m just so glad that there are readers who like what I do. As I reach the end of book 7 it’s good to know there may be one or two fans of Hildegard waiting to see what she does next.