Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Riches of the Earth: Beginning my Novel Olympic Marathon.

To celebrate the whole of my back list going live  on Kindle in the next fortnight, I will post here reminders and information about all my novels. Perhaps I should call this My Novel Olympic Marathon..

The First Historical Saga Click Here
To begin at the beginning: After publishing one children's novel (Corgi) and three Young Adult novels (Hodder and Stoughton) I felt the urge to leap into adult fiction. I was working full time when I started this novel. It took three years to write and I had something of a nervous breakdown in the middle of it and had retired into full time writing when I had finished it. So Riches of the Earth momentous in both my personal any my professional life.

I didn't know it at the time but it turned out to be 'an historical saga', taking place as it does between 1895 and 1921. (This wonderful historical saga has to be on your reading list... A lovely book, Woman's Realm)

The then newish Publisher Headline were the first to be offered it and they took is straight away.


The Story
Susanah is a child when  her family moves from the Welsh valleys  to County Durham for work. Her dour father Caradoc - in his spare time a gifted clockmaker - is a force to be reckoned with, be it in the pit, at chapel or in his own house which he rules with an iron fist. Susanah has inherited his strengh but is deterrmined not to take on his bitterness. She grows up alongside Jonty Clelland who becomes a schoolmaster and a pacifist in the first world war. Their stories intertwine, allowing us to glimpse an intensely personal aspect of  intelligent working class like during these dramatic years of England's history.

In the beginning:

'Caradon Laydon Jones hammered a second time on the faded brown door. The rest of the family dtood at a distance in the dirt road, their bags and baggages tumbled around them.
     A thin faced woman opened the door a little way, then wider.
    'Mrs Kenton is it?' he said.
    She nodded.
    'There was a letter from my cousin Davey Lewis, said you would have the key to number seventy one.' He had to stiffen his mouth to frame it around the English. Neither his wife nor his children could understand a word he said,
    She squinted up at him. 'I've got the key all right, hinney.but it winnet do you no good tonight, House is empty.'

Towards the end:
Isabella in a green silk wrap opened the door wider when she saw who it was. 'Well, who is this stranger?' she said smiling, 'What brings you here?'
      He sat down in the larger chair with remembered ease. 'I needed to see a friend.'
      He had not been close to her since that week in London at the beginning of the war. She stood before him, plumper and less smoothly finished that he recalled. The eyes, though, still sparked with amusement and secret knowledge. 'Is there trouble, Jonty?'
      'I have my appeal in two weeks time, The Monday. My second tribunal. I'll end up in prison. Worse, maybe.'
    'You want sympathy? For what you asked for?'
    He smiled at the familiar unsentimental tone. 'Not sympathy, Bel. Just a bit of company.' 

(Note: Susanah and Jonty turn up again in the background of my 1930s novel WHERE HOPE LIVES.)

I hope you enjoy it...

My First Adult Book Still on Amazon 
and now Available on Kindle Click

'An intense and moving story.' Today
'Inspiring and challenging.' Sunderland Echo


  1. Congratulations Wendy! How exciting and gratifying it must be to see the whole of your backlist on Kindle. Now many new readers can enjoy the novels. Good luck with your Olympic Marathon. I look forward to reading the posts.

  2. Thank you Avril. I am taking a deep breath and continuing. Next book is UNDER A BRIGHTER SKY which starts off in 19th century Ireland...



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