How can you uphold a lie when you know it might destroy your family?
It is 1356, seven years since the Black Death ravaged Meonbridge, turning society upside down. Margaret, Lady de Bohun, is horrified when her husband lies about their grandson Dickon’s entitlement to inherit Meonbridge. She knows that Richard lied for the very best of reasons – to safeguard his family and its future – but lying is a sin. Yet she has no option but to maintain her husband’s falsehood…
Margaret’s companion, Matilda Fletcher, decides that the truth about young Dickon’s birth really must be told, if only to ThorkellBoune, the man she’s set her heart on winning. But Matilda’s “honesty” serves only her own interests, and she’s oblivious to the potential for disaster.
For Thorkell won’t scruple to pursue exactly what he wants, by whatever means are necessary, no matter who or what gets in his way…
If you enjoy well-researched, immersive historical fiction, with strong female characterisation and a real sense of authenticity, you’ll love De Bohun’s Destiny, the third Meonbridge Chronicle, set in the mid-14th century, in the turbulent and challenging years that followed the social devastation wrought by the Black Death. Discover for yourself if, in Meonbridge, it is Margaret or Matilda, right or might, truth or falsehood, that wins the day…
UK – amzn.to/2L8QPhL
US – amzn.to/2UGpNOc
MY INTERVIW WITH THE AUTHOR
- When did you know that you wanted to be an author?
I’ve written creatively all my adult life. Through my 20s and 30s I drafted bits of novels and wrote short stories, but never thought of publishing any of them – I simply enjoyed the writing process. But, in my middle age, I wrote a contemporary woman’s novel and, clearly beginning to think that maybe I would like to “be an author”, I sent it out to a few agents. But nobody was interested – perhaps it wasn’t any good?! A year or two later, I decided to take an MA in Creative Writing, in the hope of discovering whether or not I could write. As a result, I produced the historical novel that became the first in my Meonbridge Chronicles series, Fortune’s Wheel. That went out to agents too, and also to a publisher who was very complimentary but didn’t take it on. None of the agents did either but, this time, I knew the book was good! My MA tutors had said so, and I did pretty much believe it too. And it was then that I said to myself, “Yes, I’m going to do this!”. I did want to be an author and I was going to achieve it one way or another. I got professional help with publishing Fortune’s Wheel and, at the same time, embarked upon writing Book 2 in the series, A Woman’s Lot. The current book, De Bohun’s Destiny, is Book 3, and I’m now writing Chronicle number 4.
- What inspired you to write this book?
De Bohun’s Destiny is the third Meonbridge Chronicle. The first book, Fortune’s Wheel, was “inspired”, if you can call it that, by the history of what we call the Black Death, the plague that wiped out perhaps a half of everyone in England in the years 1348-50. I was grimly fascinated by the horror of it, and how people coped with both the personal devastation and the social upheaval that ensued. In the second book, A Woman’s Lot, I wanted to explore further the particular problems that women faced, including the misogynistic attitudes that were common in the Middle Ages. De Bohun’s Destiny is set six years after the Black Death, and the community of Meonbridge has settled back in relative harmony, but I felt it was time again to give those poor people something to fight for, so I thought up an event that would cause everyone in Meonbridge a spot of bother!
- If you could sell this book in one sentence what would it be?
How about: “A lie told for the best of reasons; the truth told for the worst.”
- What are you up to next?
I am currently writing the fourth Meonbridge Chronicle, Children’s Fate. As might be obvious from the title, this story focuses on the young people of Meonbridge, all of whom those who’ve already read the earlier Chronicles will have met before. They’ll all find themselves in another “spot of bother” but, this time, the main storyline is based on real events that happened at the time. There is definitely a fifth Chronicle in the pipeline, but whether there will be any more after that, I’m not yet sure – it will rather depend on what happens in Book 5…
- Who is your biggest inspiration?
It might sound very arrogant of me to say so but, honestly, I’m not especially inspired by anyone in particular. I do certainly admire lots of writers – Susanna Gregory, for example, who writes brilliant crime fiction set in 14thcentury Cambridge, and Karen Maitland, who writes historical fiction with a magical element, set in various centuries of the Middle Ages. I love the way they bring those long past times to life in a way that seems effortless and absolutely authentic. And I do also greatly admire Ann Swinfen, my friend of more than thirty years, who tragically died last August. Ann wrote historical novels too, including, among others, The Chronicles of Christoval Alvarez, stories of political intrigue and double dealing set in the 16thcentury, and the Oxford Mediaeval Mysteries, set in the 14thcentury, in which bookseller Nicholas Elyot is the sleuth. Both series are brilliant and well worth reading. Ann began her serious writing journey very many years before I did, and when I reached that point when I said “Yes, I’m going to do this!”, Ann was there with her experience, advice and encouragement. It is partly because of her urging me that I could do it that I have now published three books, with more in the pipeline. So, yes, I can say that Ann was an inspiration to me!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
CAROLYN HUGHES was born in London, but has lived most of her life in Hampshire. After completing a degree in Classics and English, she started her working life as a computer programmer, in those days a very new profession. But it was when she discovered technical authoring that she knew she had found her vocation. She spent the next few decades writing and editing all sorts of material, some fascinating, some dull, for a wide variety of clients, including an international hotel group, medical instrument manufacturers and the government.
She has written creatively for most of her adult life, but it was not until her children grew up and flew the nest several years ago that writing historical fiction took centre stage in her life. She has a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Portsmouth University and a PhD from the University of Southampton.
De Bohun’s Destiny is the third novel in the MEONBRIDGE CHRONICLES series. A fourth novel is under way.
You can connect with Carolyn through her website http://www.carolynhughesauthor.com and social media:
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