News, views and memoirs

9. nov., 2018



    When I decided to try my hand at a story much further back in time than I had previously done, i.e. the 1850’s, it was the biggest writing challenge I’d had to date. I had never researched the 1800’s, knew nothing about the history thereof. As usual, I planned to take my characters across the world to Africa. I had already visited South Africa and years later I spent some time in Kenya with my second husband, Brian, naturalist and wildlife photographer.
    The inspiration for the book, which I called THE JEALOUS LAND was all there, handed to me on a plate – only I had to take it back to the days when the young Queen Victoria was on the throne, the days of The Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in London, early train travel, great white hunters and early photography to be carried out by the hero Daniel, adventurer and wildlife photographer.
As I have said, many times, the research was enormous and filled more pages than the book itself. It also took longer to do than the actual writing, but it gave me a taste for writing the historic novel more than ever before. It was new and exciting for me as a writer and animal lover. And being married to a serious photographer was also a great help. I had seen the places I was writing about; experienced getting up close to the beauty and the danger of the wildlife that hadn’t changed.
 
5* Review by Rosemary Morris:
  
    I congratulate Gadsby on her historical research. The description of Sophie and Thomas Brixby’s journey by train from Newcastle to London is excellent. So is the description of Daniel’s camera “the latest daguerreotype camera from France, together with the necessary glass plates and chemicals required for his trip.” Gadsby handles a large cast of characters in this unusual novel filled with searing emotion and prejudice. The more I read the more I wanted to find out what happened in the end, and despite tragedies before I reached it, I was satisfied.
 
BLURB:
     Following the death of her parents, Sophie is sent to live with relatives in London, where she is treated like a servant. Later, her chance to escape an imposed life of hardship comes in the form of Daniel Clayton – a formidable explorer and photographer. Sophie agrees to his proposal of a loveless marriage, but this union plunges her into the midst of a family feud. She faces unforeseen treachery, a terrible secret in her husband’s past and her greatest dilemma yet.
There’s plenty of emotion, mystery, murder, danger and romance – and a baby elephant called Billy that will steal your heart.
 
To read an extract from THE JEALOUS LAND please go to my EXTRACTS page to get a taste of the story.
 
 
 
2. oct., 2018

I'm not one for making public appearances or getting involved in public speaking, finding it all a bit stressful. However, in the last ten days I've given a 20 minute talk on my writing to an audience of English readers and attended a French book festival, sporting most of my recently published books - on of which [Heritage de la Guerre] - is in French. The first was quite enjoyable. The second made me feel like a fish out of water and nerves made me forget my camera. My photographer husband was so anxious to get back to sport on the telly that he forgot his camera too. I'm hoping that my fellow-writer friend Ruth Hartley will send me some photos, so watch this space. I've put it all down to experience and lesson well-learned.

2. oct., 2018

Seeing my first translation into French [A TOUCH OF MAGIC] is quite exciting - a good read for Christmas in either language.

2. oct., 2018

A lovely surprise from my publisher this afternoon. She is re-publishing one of my Christmas stories with a new cover : The Miracle of Love would make a nice read in front of the festive fire with some chocolate and mulled wine.

The Miracle of Love:
When Holly's much longed-for promotion goes to handsome outsider Joel Richards, she has reason to suspect that something mysterious is going on. This is confirmed when Joel replaces the store's regular Santa Claus with yet another outsider and there follows a string of Christmas burglaries. With her career in jeopardy and the interests of her young clients at heart, Holly decides to investigate and ends up being more involved with her new boss than she ever imagined possible.

 
Another Christmas themed story re-published in English and in French is A TOUCH OF MAGIC [HERITAGE DE LA GUERRE].