In 1789 struggling writer Ben Dearlove rescues a woman from a furious Covent Garden mob. The woman is ill and in her delirium cries out the name “Miranda”. Weeks later an anonymous novel about the voyage of the Miranda to the fabled Great Southern Continent causes a sensation. Ben decides to find the author everyone is talking about. He is sure the woman can help him – but she has disappeared.
It is soon clear that Ben is involved in something more dangerous than the search for a reclusive writer. Who is the woman and what is she running from? Who is following Ben? And what is the Admiralty trying to hide? Before he can discover the shocking truth, Ben has to get out of prison, catch a thief, and bring a murderer to justice.
Amazon – Paperback and Kindle:-
SilverWood Books – Paperback – https://www.silverwoodbooks.co.uk/product/9781781320174/to-the-fair-land
Book Depository – https://www.bookdepository.com/Fair-Land-Lucienne-Boyce/9781781320174
Barnes and Noble – Paperback and Nook Book – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-the-fair-land-lucienne-boyce/1111543434?ean=9781781320174
MY INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR!
1. When did you know that you wanted to be an author?
I’ve always loved reading, and it wasn’t a big step from loving to read stories to wanting to write my own. I was scribbling down stories as a child – I remember spending many a happy hour writing my own version of Bambi and Lost in Space, as well as a long-running saga about a runaway princess called Esmeralda. I’m never quite sure where she ended up!
I don’t think I ever really stopped after that – but taking the step to publication was another thing!
2. What inspired you to write this book?
To The Fair Land combines two main interests – my love of eighteenth century literature and history, and my fascination with mythical lands. So one strand of the inspiration came from my interest in the work of Frances Burney. In 1778 she published her first novel, Evelina, anonymously because she was afraid of what her father would think of her work, and also because writing novels was regarded as something respectable women did not do. The book became a best-seller but Burney continued to hide her identity as the book’s author, even when she was in company where it was being talked about! Eventually, of course, the truth did come out.
I started to wonder what might happen if a book was published anonymously when there was more than a reputation at stake – what if there was a danger to life itself?
Added to that, I’ve always been attracted to tales of mythical lands – the island of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Richard Brome’s The Antipodes, Charlotte Perkin Gilman’s Herland, Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, William Morris’s Wondrous Isles, C S Lewis’s Narnia, El Dorado, Camelot…all the dystopias and utopias and lands of fabulous wealth that mankind has dreamed of for centuries. One thing that was striking about the eighteenth century – the great age of exploration and colonisation – was the way these myths underpinned the scientific and rational quest for knowledge of our world. It was the search for an entirely invented continent that lay behind the voyages of Captain Cook and other great navigators.
So when I found out that Frances Burney’s brother actually travelled on one of Captain Cook’s voyages I started to see a way of connecting the two strands. Though the Burneys are not characters in the book, their stories were definitely part of the inspiration behind it.
3. If you could sell this book in one sentence what would it be?
To The Fair Land is an eighteenth-century thriller about a young man who finds himself up against people who will lie, steal and even kill to stop him discovering the truth about a voyage to the South Seas.
4. What are you up to next?
I’m currently working on the fourth Dan Foster Mystery. The Dan Foster Mysteries follow the adventures of a Bow Street Runner. I’m also working on a biography of suffrage campaigner Millicent Price (nee Browne), and a co-authored book on the women’s suffrage campaign.
5. Who is your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration is the women writers who have gone before me – women like Mary Wollstonecraft, Charlotte Smith, Dorothy L Sayers, Eileen Power, Winifred Holtby, Audre Lorde, and all the women who fought hard to claim their right to write, work and be independent.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lucienne Boyce writes historical fiction, non-fiction and biography. After gaining an MA in English Literature, specialising in eighteenth-century fiction, she published her first historical novel, To The Fair Land (SilverWood Books, 2012, reissued 2021), an eighteenth-century thriller set in Bristol and the South Seas.
Her second novel, Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery (SilverWood Books, 2015) is the first of the Dan Foster Mysteries and follows the fortunes of a Bow Street Runner who is also an amateur pugilist. Bloodie Bones was joint winner of the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016, and was also a semi-finalist for the M M Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction 2016. The second Dan Foster Mystery, The Butcher’s Block, was published in 2017 and was awarded an IndieBrag Medallion in 2018. The third in the series, Death Makes No Distinction, was published in 2019 and is also an IndieBrag Medallion honoree, recipient of Chill With a Books Premium Readers’ Award, and a joint Discovering Diamonds Book of the Month. In 2017 an e-book Dan Foster novella, The Fatal Coin, was trade published by SBooks.
In 2013, Lucienne published The Bristol Suffragettes (SilverWood Books), a history of the suffragette movement in Bristol and the west country. In 2017 she published a collection of short essays, The Road to Representation: Essays on the Women’s Suffrage Campaign.
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