Join me in welcoming Paula Lofting this morning, on her book tour for Sons of the Wolf.
I have always had a book in me. When I was a little girl at school I always wrote the longest stories in Composition and when I came home from school I would sit and write stories. I Hand wrote a 500 page epic set in 5thc Wales inspired by Mary Stewart’s Merlin books but I never finished it and I think it ended up in the trash. I was in my late teens or early 20’s then and because I couldn’t type or afford a type-writer I sort of gave up on it. Later when I got into my 40’s I’d come through a lot of turmoil in my life and I picked myself up, dusted myself down and went to college and university to become a nurse. Learning how to use a computer gave me a sense of confidence and it came to me that I could write the book I’d always wanted to. I work fulltime as a nurse but writing is like a hobby to me. I can’t afford to give up my day job but I use the money I earn to fund what I like doing best, writing.
I have always had a love of history and loved to read books set in historical times. I also like modern reading and did toy with a modern thriller recently but put it on the back burner. There is something exciting about historical events, characters, the castles, medieval villages that they lived in and still exist, battles and tournaments and knights and ladies, they are so inspiring. They always make me go ‘wow’.
Writing a story from scratch is the hardest part. I love the editing stage because its then you get to flesh it out and make it more of an exciting pleasurable read because you have the framework which inspires your imagination, triggering it into a more expansive dimension.
There is always some snippet of research that you find fascinating when you research and I love finding more and more books on the period that I write in. The best research for fleshing out any historical novel is re-enactment and I do so with www.regia.org
I have been building a database of the characters in my period of interest, what their roles were in events of the time and a bio of their lives if I can build one, obviously depending what has been written down about them and how important they were. My period of interest is the 11thc so there is a great paucity of information about the people themselves, for example, Harold Godwinson was an Earl and a King and there is no recorded birth date for him. It was like that back then. The advent of 1066 seems to have changed that however it could be that the scarcity is due to Viking raids on churches and monasteries that have destroyed that kind of information.
I keep a list of characters and what they look like and update it as the years go by to accommodate them aging. I also write an account of each chapter so I can remember who did what, what did who and who did what to who. It’s like a sort of synopsis.
I am writing a sequel to my current available novel Sons of the Wolf. It’s called The Wolf Banner. Sons of the Wolf is set in the years leading up to the Norman Conquest, about a Sussex thegn, Wulfhere, identified as the name of the man who held the land of Horstede in the Domesday Book before it was given to its Norman owner. It incorporates the historical events of the time and alongside the fictional characters we see Edward the Confessor, Harold Godwinson and his brothers and many others. It also has the sense of being like a family saga, a kind of 11thc soap opera if you like but I hope my characters are more realistic with not so outlandish storylines! It has battles, love, betrayal and intrigue and it essentially centres round the feud between Wulfhere and his neighbour Helghi. The Wolf Banner continues to follows the events that culminate in the Norman Invasion and Wulfhere’s feud with Helghi becomes more and more sinister as it threatens to affect more than just the two communities. Again there will be battles and exciting adventure as more of Wulfhere’s story unfolds.
After the Wolf Banner is published in the Spring hopefully, I plan to write another two in the series that will take the reader to the Battle of Hastings itself and then to the wild fens of Ely with the last English leader of the English resistance, Hereward. I intend to do more book signings and library events also with the help of my fellow-re-enactors.
My book can be purchased here.
Viisit Paula online:
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