Monday, 23 December 2013
Inspiration to write Cavalier's Masque
I am often asked where does the inspiration for a novel come from. With Cavalier's Masque it combined my passion for history of the English Civil War and one of my favourite stories during that period which was the young King Charles II attempt to regain his father's throne. This centred upon the battle of Worcester where the Royalist army faced Cromwell's troops. They lost the battle and the King was forced to flee for his life. He spent six weeks in hiding in England and finally escaped in a ship sailing from Sussex.
I live in Sussex just a couple of miles from the creek where he took ship. On his journey to the coast the King's party encountered a troop of Cromwell's soldiers drinking at an inn by Houghton Bridge which is on the edge of the South Downs on the River Adur (again only a few miles from my home). Fortunately the disguised King and the royalists avoided detection. And in my novel CAVALIER'S MASQUE they avoided discovery by a diversion created by my heroine.
The novel is set on a fictious estate, Saxfield Manor, near Bramber on the South Downs and during the period of Cromwell's Protectorate many royalist spies working for the exiled King in France returned to England to raise an army. They were hunted by Cromwell's officers and so in my novel Saxfield Manor was a safe house for Royalist spies which placed by heroine in danger and presented plenty of scope for action and adventure.
There is also a scene set in the grounds of the ruins of Bramber castle near to Shoreham, and Broadwater Church is mentioned which was where my son was christened.
With so much local history involved this was a novel I was born to write. Also readers of my Angel Players Series will know that many scenes in Chichester and Arundel have been included, especially in the third book Traitors and Players which included the civil war sieges of Chichester and Arundel Castle.
Inspiration grows from what you love and know and where better than writing about where you live.