A Writing Summer

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 A Writing Summer

It has been a frenzied summer.  I have been racing against the clock to finish the manuscript of novel number 13.  Although this follows my favourite format of time past and time present, the story begins in 1940 which is comparatively close to the present day for me, and has thrown up all kinds of interesting constructional puzzles in the writing. I have so much enjoyed writing this one, not least because it starts in the Battle of Britain  which for me is living history – no, I wasn’t born then – but my dad was a Spitfire pilot, stationed at Westhampnett near Tangmere in West Sussex during the battle. While there he met my mum in Chichester. Her family lived in Sussex so there is a tremendous family connection with that area.  I especially remember my grandparents’ house and the Sussex Downs where most of the novel is set, and going south on a research trip in  April to remind myself of the places I knew so well when I was a child has been a wonderful experience.

The novel does not follow my parents’ life – of course –but I have used my dad’s log books and letters to keep the time line for those months as accurate as I can. Having established that, I have introduced my usual element of mayhem to the story! Enough clues.

After sending the MS to my agent and editor for a first appraisal I was left with that most wonderful of moments when there is nothing to do (figuratively speaking) but read other people’s books! Bliss!

So, over the late summer I launched into an orgy of ‘bestseller’ catch up, which was a joy. I am, as I expect I have said before, a catholic and greedy reader, hoovering up all kinds of titles from all kinds of genres with great delight. It is my holiday interlude before I go back to editing No 13, which will happen very soon. (Incidentally, their verdict on No 13 was a resounding thumbs up!  Huge relief! I am never confident enough to think people will actually enjoy one of my books until someone tells me so!)

And No 14?    The starting pistol for this will go off in the New Year.  I have the new characters, the period, some of the plot, the location and a few notes already in my notebook.  Although I try not to let myself think about the next book before the one I am working on is completely signed off, I can already feel it breathing down my neck. So once the snow is on the ground it is back to biography and history and books on costume and life in the past.   And that is all the hints I am giving for the time being.







Pam Smith on 23/02/14

I have been waiting (not quite) patiently for book 13. Can you tell me when it will be released please? I have been a huge fan since someone gave me Lady of Hay, which remains an all time favourite. I absolutely love all your books, such wonderful stories. I have always been a ghost story fan but your books add another dimension - please never stop writing. Can't wait for number 13.

Janine Maillard on 14/02/14

I am an avid reader when time permits and i just found River of Destiny.
Of course i absolutely loved it, my only trouble is it only took me two days to read so now i am searching for other reads until your next one is out. Thank you for such great reads.

Ave Ryan on 03/02/14

Dear Barbara, Your books have given me so much pleasure having read and re-read them over time each and every one having an intriguing, unique and fasinating story line. Such good reads! I have to say my favourites are Times Legacy and Warrior's Princess the characters absolutely brilliant and I hope that some time soon you will weave another story for Abi and Justin not forgetting Meryn. Many thanks. Ave.

Florabel on 01/02/14

I went over to Sussex Stationers (here in Bexhill!), earlier today to see if there was any sign of a new Barbara Erskine hardback, so what a delight to hear No 13 will reasonably soon come our way. It'll be an added bonus set in Sussex, we're "London transplants" but absolutely love our new home county! Very best with your forthcoming marvellous writing, sincerely, Florabel Thorogood

moooo1 on 08/01/14

The best novel that i have read of your collection is the child of the phoenix, this is because it did not switch back and forth in different time periods and you best master the medieval time period(13th century) . The kingdom of shadows would have been better accomplished if it was of the same format. Love your work, keep going.

Kaye on 24/12/13

I am so excited that you are producing another book! You are my favourite writer, along side Rudolf Steiner. Please, keep writing. Your works are so entertaining, and give me a reason to spend a rainy weekend at a resort on the British Columbian coast, with a roaring fire, a find bottle of wine, and my reading glasses and my imagination running wild with your characters! You are an unbelieveably good writer!

Gill Short on 21/12/13

I can't wait to read your next book, as I have thoroughly enjoyed all you have done so far. Hope you have a great Christmas.


Anne robertson on 15/12/13

All barbara's books are a very good read ,you don't want to put them down yet you don't want to get them finished too quickly ,when I get to the last page I always sigh and think look forward to the next one.

christine on 30/11/13

I really adore your books Barbara, River of Destiny was excellent I couldn't put it down! I know Woodbridge well so was really able to get into it. Thank you for writing such wonderful stories may you continue for along time yet... Best wishes, Christine

Cynthia Green on 29/11/13

I'm so looking forward to novel number 13. Can you share the title of the novel and publishing date? I love the past/present theme and can't get enough of them. I also enjoy your short stories and wonder when and if you will be publishing another short story collection. My father served in WWII in the Canadian Armed Forces, so I know I'm going to love novel number 13's storyline.

Hestia on 15/11/13

I hope one day you will write about Tintern, the monks at the Abbey, the Wye Valley, St Tyndyrn, the Silures and the Romans at Caerwent - I think there would be loads of material suitable for your style of storyline! You can stay with us in Tintern while you do your local research! Looking forward to the next book!

Maggie Smith on 12/11/13

Hi there I have read all your books and my poor copy of Lady of Hay I have had for years and reread when I feel the need. Please let me know when this new book is read and what the title will be. I love your work. It is so wonderful and absorbing. I can never put your books down.All wonderful. I also loved Kingdom of Shadows. Thankyou so much Maggie Smith Australia :)

Marjorie on 10/11/13

Somewhat late in life I have just read 'Time's Legacy. I was evacuated to
Glastonbury as a child, spending many days playing upon the Tor. Did not
know the history due to upset years. I found this book so interesting I shall
read as many as I can get in large print. Wonderful literature.

Rose Harrison on 26/10/13

Can't wait for the next book! Yours and Diana Gabaldon's books are the only ones I buy immediately they come out - I know they are going to be fantastic! Many thanks for the hours of (creepy!) entertainment!

Clive Oakley on 20/10/13

Hi Barbara
It must feel special to be able to use information from your Fathers log book, I look forward to book 13 with great anticipation just wish I had it for my holiday, take care

heather on 20/10/13

sorry to read your new book will be one of so many war novells!thats one book i am not going to buy i like to escape in to a book who is diffrent,sorry

M Trudgil on 10/10/13

Ghosts, Rome, reincarnation = sheer bliss!
Have read all yours from Lady of Hay in the '80s and always looking out for the next one.( My usual reading is Roman history, not fiction.) Keep going!

Doreen Dalton on 08/10/13

I LOVE!! Barbara Erskine books. Cannot wait for the next one. Keep them all.!!


I just had to say i love all your books , i really do loose myself in them thankyou so much and i am looking forward to your next one thankyou regards julie

kerry on 03/10/13

Brillant to hear that 2 more wonderful books are on the way. I am always disappointed when I read the last page of your books as the wait for the next seems an intolerable long time away.

Fiona on 30/09/13

So desperate for your next book, have read them all and am always left wanting more at the end of each story.
I think you're a fabulous writer.
Thank you for such enjoyable and thought provoking work.
Regards, Fiona.

Ann Smith on 29/09/13

Barbara, I can't wait! I have been waiting for news on a new novel and am very excited about this...after discovering your work some years back I now pre-order each one with the certain knowledge that I will enjoy it! I am never disappointed. I am a history teacher at Primary level and lead a very busy escape into another truly good book is much anticipated. Much luck for the upcoming novel too! Ann x

sandra hathaway on 25/09/13

I am an avid reader of Barbara Erskine's books, I have read every one of them twice and some three times. I leave it a few years and then start working back through them. I always eagerly await the latest one being released, just can't wait. I have also managed to win others over to her books by lending mine out and like me they can't get enough of them. I have to say I do not find many Authors that hold me from the first page but thats exactly what Barbara Erskine does. Please keep churning out the novels Barbara and thankyou.

pam on 21/09/13

Id just like to say how much I enjoy your books.I started with " whispers in the sand" , was hooked,and bought the others immediatly,have 3 left to read. I still have to get "river of destiny"mind.! What a story you weave! Magical! Thankyou for so much pleasure,bless you . Regards, pam.

shirl roberts on 21/09/13

Love all your books Barbara,and never tire of a second read.

Caroline delaney on 21/09/13

Thanks for the update. I will be first in line to get your new book and my family will have to tend to themselves while I hibernate to read it .

Trina belle on 20/09/13

Am so delighted to hear there is not just one but two wonderful Barbara Erskine books to look forward to. Delicious beyond chocolate!! Thank you Barbara.

Kim on 20/09/13

Wow I can't wait to have it in my hands. You have been my favorite author I love your books and can read them over and over again. Thank you so much xxx

Suzanne Stafford on 20/09/13

Just wanted to say 'thank you' for your stories. They are mesmerising. Can't wait for the latest novel to be published. :-)

Carole Freeman on 20/09/13

Barbara, my head spins in anticipation of your next book. If it's. Half as wonderful as all the others you have written, it will be worth the, love your books!!!! Thank you for all the joy you have given me and other BE readers throughout the years, since. Lady of Hay, I have been ducted to your books..thank you again!!

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