The Next Big Thing.

I was tagged by Elin Gregory to do this meme – the idea being that one answers questions about ones WIP then requests 4 other people to do it.

So, without further ado-here is my contribution….

What is the title of the book you’re currently working on?
‘Defying Leviticus’ for the moment-but that’s liable to change. So I guess it’s a working title.

Where did the idea for the book come from?
After a visit to Borley a small village in Essex, with my nieces. The Rectory, which once stood here (it burnt down in 1939) was reputedly the most haunted house in England. One of the ghosts was said to be that of Edward Waldegrave, the ill-fated squire of Borley. A recusant and devout Catholic, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London and died there in 1561. No one knows for sure how he died but it is generally believed that he succumbed to a recurring illness. But….I had other plans for Edward. I wanted him to die, heroically and for his faith, on the block.
The story was called, ‘Twenty-Three Steps To Borley’ because, as Edward is walking to the block, he counts his steps. There are twenty-two to the scaffold, the twenty-third being the moment the axe descends and Edward’s spirit is free to return to his beloved Borley….as a ghost.
Some months later, I had a ‘What If’ moment and I ‘gave’ Edward a young valet, William who harbours a secret love for his master. After a change of name for Edward from Waldegrave to Wharton and moving him out of the Tower, Ned & Will were born and the idea for my WIP.

What genre does your book fall under?
Historical fiction (it’s set in the early1540s) & M/M romance I guess. But the M/M tag doesn’t mean sex on every page as some people seem to think. There is love-making but I’ve tried to make it as tasteful as possible and I hope others will see it like that.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Oh, I love that question. Writers do this a lot and its always great fun.
Well, for Edward I think either Michael Fassbender or Gerard Butler would fit the bill very nicely thank you. Like Edward they both have dark hair and blue/grey eyes. A beautiful combination I reckon. And just the right amount of facial hair. Very sexy. 😉


William was a little more difficult, but I managed to find a photo of a young unknown, Jordan Sanfrancesco (below) who would be absolutely perfect for the young and somewhat naive Will.


What is a one-sentence synopsis of the book?
Young, naive William Audley is in love, and the object of his affection is…another man; his master, the deeply religious Edward Wharton.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Oh, an agency I think. I have read that self-publishing is so full of pit-falls and as a beginner writer, I’d like to avoid those. So, I’ll go by the safe route-with an agency.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Hmm! About four months, but that is a very rough draft indeed. I wanted to make so many changes I decided to use that as the bare bones of the one I am working on now for NaNoWriMo. It’s a much tighter story arc and not as ambitious. As it was, I was trying to write something on the scale of War and Peace. And it was going nowhere. 🙂

What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?
Oh my word. Thats a tough one. As someone who is still very new to the M/M genre and as I still have a heck of a long ‘To Read’ list that’s a difficult one to answer. But, of the books I have read, I’d love to be able to write like Charlie Cochrane, Alex Beecroft and Erastes.They write cracking historicals from all periods of history. I couldn’t possibly compare my writing to theirs, but I’d love to be able to come up with a fairly decent historical story eventually. This one hopefully.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
See question 2. Plus the more I read in the genre, the more I learn and the more I am inspired. My mate and fellow writer, Elin Gregory has been a great source of inspiration for me. Every time I read of her successes it makes me try harder and strive to be a better writer. And she’s always been very encouraging.

What else about your book may pique the readers interest
The fact that its set in Essex, a much maligned county and the butt of many jokes. But it’s a beautiful part of England; especially northern Essex where my story is set. I hope that my descriptions of the landscape help to do it justice. Of course, there will have been many, many changes in the last 400+ years but I hope I’ve been able to capture the essence of the fields, rivers, estuaries and the famous Big Skies of East Anglia.

So there you have it. The Next Big Thing! I’ll tag my four later when I’ve given it some thought and sounded them out. 😉

4 thoughts on “The Next Big Thing.

  1. onlyfragments

    Just FYI, if you’re looking for more good m/m historical fiction, I read a TON of it this year and can give several great recommendations.

    I love seeing how your story came about! Always the most interesting part of a work, I think.

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