Tangled Tales

It’s going to be an exciting couple of months bookwise as I have the paperback of The Girl in the Photograph coming out on Tuesday and the second one in the Hartsford Mysteries series, Watch for me by Candlelight, coming out in April. I’ve also got some edits coming through for one of my novellas, but which one it is, is a surprise until it reaches me. I’ve also submitted the two Christmas novellas so hopefully I’ll get them sorted for release later in the year too.

In the midst of this, I decided to try and rework an old piece. If you’ve read any of my blog posts before, you might know that I thought I would try my hand at being Victoria Holt years ago and failed quite miserably. But, getting a new second hand book with this ‘stunning’ cover on it has reignited my desire to do something with my old book (which does not, I must say, include a creepy monk who is taking far too much interest in a lady’s cleavage whilst weighing up a suggestive orange in his sticky paws).

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Unfortunately, at the minute, despite the fact my original story was about 16,000 words long, which should have been a very good start indeed, I found out I felt like this.


This is because the story doesn’t know what it wants to be. It doesn’t know if it wants to be a timeslip, or a paranormal mystery or a historical mystery or a Gothic romance or anything in between. I’m going to have to be careful because it could all end up horribly messy if I force it in a direction it shouldn’t go in.

For example, in the original draft, I have a Victorian girl discovering a diary and then unravelling a mystery, which puts her in Great Peril; which is a decent enough premise – but then a ghost rushes to the rescue which isn’t really something I think would work well for the new version of it. I also have a modern day couple, and even they don’t seem to know what they want to do yet – there’s some sort of connection to the past, but the guy I decided was my bad guy (in both timelines perhaps) is turning out to be quite nice really, and I don’t want to force him in any other direction. It’s a tricky one.

I also have some ideas for two new Schubert the Cat books, which at the moment seem quite appealing as at least I know what Schubert wants to do –  which is basically meddle in things and eat tuna. But part of me wants to get this ‘Gothic’ one down, as it’s been sat on the back burner for so long, I need to sort it out so it stops taunting me.

At least I know that if and when it gets written and published, my cover won’t be anything like the one above- there was an absolute rash of these style covers in the 80’s (oh that decade has a lot to answer for,  even though I was a teenager in it and had a great time!) However, the book covers were rather scary, and I had great fun the other day looking at some of these old Victoria Holt covers. Here’s a selection for you to have a giggle over.

VH covers

There does seem to be a glut of ripped bodices and desperate maidens in them, and it’s basically a screen shot of a Google search. I love them!  It reminds me of the very funny  Jane Austen book Northanger Abbey where the heroine, Catherine Morland, was convinced there was Gothic terror afoot at the home of the very lovely Henry Tilney.  I’m so pleased we’ve moved on a bit, but these old Gothic romance covers are still very special. And they did after all, encourage my desire to be Victoria Holt! (and yes, I have read all the ones in the photo!)

Tangled kitten – photo credit http://yarnobsession.com/the-zen-of-untangling-yarn-how-to-make-it-a-calming-experience/