Author Interview with Carolyn Hughes

Author Interview with Carolyn Hughes


5 Questions to Know You Better…

Perhaps most important – tea or coffee, or maybe hot chocolate?

Nearly always tea, but different sorts – English breakfast, Lady Grey, Rooibos – depending on my mood. I do drink coffee occasionally, but I can’t remember the last time I had a cup of hot chocolate!

Of all the characters you have created, who is your favourite?

Eleanor Titherige is a main character in my first novel, Fortune’s Wheel, and the “heroine” of the second, A Woman’s Lot. I love her because she is both strong – or trying to be – and vulnerable. Orphaned in the Black Death, she had to learn to make her own way in the world, when she had expected life to be relatively easy. She is energetic and kind but also rather self-centred (like most young people really). She wants to be a successful farmer, but also to be loved… But she is no feminist. This is the 14th century, so her ambitions are tempered by the norms of society and what she herself regards as proper.

Do you have a particular place where you write –  can you show us a picture?

Not really – wherever seems right for the moment. It depends whether I feel like writing on my laptop or my desktop – I do both. Also I move around to avoid backache from sitting too long in any one position.

Sorry, but no photo – I’d be mortified for you to see the bomb site that is my desk!

Where do you find your inspiration and ideas?

In my twenties, I wrote about 10,000 words of a novel set in 14th century rural England. I rediscovered the fading handwritten draft languishing in a box of old scribblings when I was trying to decide what to write for my Creative Writing MA. The novel’s plot (and the writing) wasn’t great, but I was drawn to its period and setting. I had a light bulb moment and, a few days later, was drafting an outline for the novel that is now Fortune’s Wheel, the first Meonbridge Chronicle. Having created the fictional historical world of Meonbridge, I now just have to imagine new situations, problems and solutions for my characters (Eleanor and many others). I constantly reacquaint myself with the history of the period, and use what I discover to help me to develop new plot lines.

What are you working on currently, and when can we expect to read it?

The second Meonbridge Chronicle, A Woman’s Lot, has just gone to the publisher and I imagine it will be available in April/May this year.

I am now working on the third book in the series, title as yet undecided, and I HOPE it might be available by the end of the year.

I have also written the first of a number of short stories/novellas, also about Meonbridge characters. I will make these available initially to people who sign up to my mailing list.

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