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I usually blog twice a year, mid summer and just before Christmas to keep you all in the loop but this year I don't seem to have done either. To be honest, things have been a bit tough and I know they have for everyone. It seems to be all work and no play, hampered by ill-heath and personal problems, and as for the weather, well, I won't even go there.
The garden started off well but was quickly neglected due to drought followed by rain, plus my husband was extending the greenhouse in between showers so it was a horrid mess for most of the time. At least it gave me time to write - trouble was, brain fog has been a problem since Covid but I finally got the third and final book in The Henrician Trilogy finished and How to Dress like a Tudor was published by Pen and Sword in September.
Mid-July we had a bit of a surprise when my eldest boy came home to live with us after a marriage break down. It is lovely to have him here. He likes to swim in the sea so I've had plenty of beach time and can now get out and about more without having to drag my old fella everywhere. He also helps with housework and gardening, brings me coffee throughout the day and is generally lovely.
The very wet August and September followed by a gloomy October and November put me in no mood for Christmas and then about a fortnight before, I went down with that horrible flu-like cold everyone has been suffering with. Back to square one with sniffling and coughing and forgetting how to think while I struggled with editing and getting the book ready for the proper editor.
Then there were covers to sort out, blurbs and articles to write, How to dress like a Tudor to market. It has all left me quite burned out but I am very bored with no project on the go, and missing Henry a lot. Since I am a glutton for punishment, I began to rewrite and edit a couple of my early novels that have been lurking and not selling very well under an author name. I've come a long way since I wrote them in the early noughties, and the writing was appalling, so I've had to be quite brutal. They are a bit different in tone to my current stuff but a good enough read, I think. I will be bringing them under the Judith Arnopp banner as soon a
Both Henry and I were delighted to receive a gold award from The Coffee Pot Book Club for A Matter of Faith and then yesterday, I found out The Historical Fiction Company Book of the Year awards have awarded a gold for A Song of Sixpence.
Both awards are a much needed boost to my flagging energy. This year, I need to spend time restoring my mobility and, due to problems with my eyesight, I can no longer write all day long but hopefully, with some logistical adjustment I will embark on my next book soon. I haven't decided to set it in the Tudor era or late medieval yet, so if you have any thoughts on the matter, please let me know. I've thought about revisiting the princes in the tower but I imagine a lot of authors will be doing that since Phillipa Langley's recent book. I have also considered the topic of Elizabeth and Robert Dudley. I'd love to know your thoughts.
Meanwhile, I hope Christmas 23 was good, and you all have a fabulous 2024 - it can't get any worse, can it ... can it?
and just so you know, those of you who have persevered thus far, I did have some lovely images to go in this blog post but the site is so frustrating to use that I had to give up or you'd not have got it until next Christmas!
You'd think after so many years I'd not still be making blunders but we live and learn.
My intention was to have a lovely swish launch of both the kindle and paperback on the 15th March. However, with great skill I somehow managed to publish the paperback early and before I knew it people were messaging me to say how happy they were to have ordered a copy.
It was too late to turn back then so, we will now have a staggered launch. The paperback version of A Matter of Conscience is selling fast and on this coming Monday - as originally and beautifully planned - we have the kindle launch and the Blog Tour.
I am hoping for a swift rise up the chart as there have already been plenty of pre-orders and interest. Here's hoping my first volume of A Matter of Conscience doesn't disappoint.
Well, 2021 sloped in the through the back door disguised as 2020. Still locked down here in Wales and another month to go before restrictions begin to relax. Even the weather is awful, local flooding, gales and lashing rain adding to the sense of doom.
On a personal level, like many of you I am missing my children and grandchildren, and I am so thankful for the many interests I have to keep me distracted. If I stop to think about the situation too long I feel like curling into a ball. instead I close a mental door on all that and trudge on into the future that will hopefully be better for us all. Thank goodness for books! Both the reading and the writing of them.
I've kept my chin up by working hard on the forthcoming launch of A Matter of Conscience which is being run by The Coffee Pot Book Club. mary Anne Yarde and her daughter, Ellie, do a great job promoting authors. I highly recommend their services.
The blog will consist of interviews, excerts and articles about matters raised in the novel and promises to be a lot of fun. Please keep an eye out on how to join in. Follow me on twitter or facebook so you don't miss anything.
A Matter of Conscience: Henry VIII; the Aragon Years was intended to be just one book but you know Henry, he wanted more so I've begun writing Book Two: A Matter of Faith which will cover Anne's fall and Jane Seymours time as queen. I've not written about Jane in length before so I am looking forward to making her acquaintance.
I am also working on a non-fiction title for Pen and Sword Books - a history of Tudor Fashion from 1485 - 1603. This will be an interesting project to write as it ties into my hobby of sewing historical clothing. I now have the excuse to make something new so that I can photograph and record the progress as I go. I shall update you further as I progress.
March 15th is the publication for A Matter of Conscience which isnt very long away so I'd better get on with the arrangements! Have a happy month and keep safe!gh the
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