River of Destiny -The First 2 Weeks

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River of Destiny – the first 2 weeks


For months the date sits there in one’s diary – publication day.  First it is months away, then weeks, then at last only a few days and it begins to dawn that it is almost here!  And suddenly I have a new facebook page – official (I hate that word!) run by my publisher with thousands of followers. I am gobsmacked. Where did they all come from? Then my first duty was to host a visitation from a video film team to make the little video which you can see on that official face book page. (The out takes of my dog are far better than the bit with me in it, but then he is a natural star and loved every minute of their visit!)  We travel to Harwich to meet some fans which is lovely although the presence of the camera still manages to make me feel stiff and self conscious.

River of Destiny -The First 2 Weeks

 I have to get used to the idea that publicising a book now involves a huge input from the author, with  daily entries on facebook and twitter and the web site – a full time job in itself. 

 A few days later I go down to my publishers for a meeting to discuss publication plans and hear that people are putting in wonderful orders for the book.  Things a looking optimistic.  In the atrium at the entrance downstairs was a display of my books – so they were expecting me.

River of Destiny -The First 2 Weeks

River of Destiny -The First 2 Weeks

Upstairs brightly printed display folders with figures and plans, Cupcakes .

River of Destiny -The First 2 Weeks

and champagne. Very pleasant and encouraging!

Then comes the hard work.  500 copies of the hardback to sign for the independent bookshops  In theory this sounds wonderful and helpful. In practice it is exhausting and needs the help of about 4 people to pass you the book and then remove it and  repack it in a box!

River of Destiny -The First 2 Weeks

500 books to go.      and...

River of Destiny -The First 2 Weeks

500 books finished

Then home with my agent Carole (who doubles as my photographer in chief). The next day we were off to Nottingham for an event together so it made sense for me to stay up  in London with her. Leaving early we set off for St Pancras and hurried a little wistfully past all the international travellers towards a train heading up to the MIdlands.  Our event at the Lowdham Book Festival  was held at Woodborough Hall – a lovely unspoiled country house hotel just outside Nottingham where some 80 people had arrived for afternoon tea while Carole and I chatted about books and our working relationship.  It was a lovely afternoon.

River of Destiny -The First 2 Weeks

Looks as though I can’t find my notes!

River of Destiny -The First 2 Weeks

Mics usually take one look at me and refuse to work . This was a good old fashioned one I could cope with

River of Destiny -The First 2 Weeks

Not sure what is so funny.  Not my best angle.

 At Lowdham  I had to break the news yet again that although I was born in Nottingham, I wasn’t actually probably  a genuine Nottingham girl, having left when I was about a week old. They seemed to forgive me that slight inconsistency in my life history and were wonderfully welcoming.

Back home, fighting off a horrendous summer cold I began a round of interviews with local press and radio – always great fun. Journalists have a habit of throwing googlies amongst their questions which take one off guard  and make one think afresh which is good for the brain – though not quite so good when feeling quite so ill. I discovered that constant doses of paracetemol  had the amazing effect of taking away all my aches and pains including sore contact lenses  as a side effect of killing the sinus temporarily. Every cloud and all that ...

Publications day itself came and went with lots of congratulations and a lovely  bunch of flowers from my publisher, then the next day we had the launch party at Sutton Hoo . Browsers Books   in Woodbridge and the National Trust went to such trouble to arrange a wonderful evening.  I was really touched by all their efforts.

River of Destiny -The First 2 Weeks

The site itself is enormous and very beautiful.

River of Destiny -The First 2 Weeks

A typical scene on this part of the Deben – it could be a painting by Constable. Wonderful power of cloud and tree

River of Destiny -The First 2 Weeks

We had champagne and cider and nibbles in the museum, 

 River of Destiny -The First 2 Weeks

With 2 members of ‘Team Destiny’ Laura, my publicist and Lucy one of my editors. Next came my talk and reading in the King’s River Cafe.  

River of Destiny -The First 2 Weeks

Every single chair was taken which was nice!

Then the loveliest touch of all, people were able to make their way out to the burial mounds as the sun set over the river. We had been blessed with fantastic weather for that one lucky day.

River of Destiny -The First 2 Weeks

I stayed signing books as the sun disappeared,

Sadly I didn’t get the chance to go out and witness this special moment, but then I have been to Sutton Hoo on many occasions before. I was particularly struck by someone who said she had stayed out on the burial mounds, reading the book, until it grew dark.  Magic.

I met so many lovely new people that evening, as well as friends of old.

River of Destiny -The First 2 Weeks

Me with twins,  Matilda and  Jess, named after characters in the novels.

River of Destiny -The First 2 Weeks

Matilda and Jess with their mum, Jules

River of Destiny -The First 2 Weeks

Queuing up for signing.

River of Destiny -The First 2 Weeks

Speed signing at the end!

River of Destiny -The First 2 Weeks

It was a very special occasion and one I shall long remember.


More interviews over the next few days made me realise my throat was getting no better and by the time we came to my  evening at Red Lion Books in Colchester I had nearly lost the power of speech altogether   However I had as always an incredibly sympathetic and understanding audience and Pete and Sarah Donaldson nursed me through the evening where yet again I met some fascinating new friends as well as some familiar faces.  I left under a torrential downpour which has been the signature weather of the last 2 weeks. I am so lucky that where it really mattered, so that people could go outside, at Sutton Hoo, the ancient rain gods came up trumps.

And now , with only a few events left, scattered over the diary,  I am beginning to look forward to the chance to put all the excitement behind me and  go back to writing. That, after all, is what it’s all about.


Photos: Carole Blake




Susan on 24/08/15

I have read all your books. I am late to the game and have just completed River of Destiny. I did not want it to end. I have your next book awaiting me but I want to save it for my holiday in Jan.. I don't know if that will be possible. Thank you for the countless hours of enjoyment and escape from this real world into the distant past.

Nicky on 06/06/13

I have been re-reading all of your older books and decided to see if you had written any more. So excited to find there is a new one!!!
Looking forward to reading your latest!! Thank you x

Diane longworth on 22/05/13

Dear Barbara,LOVE all your booke.Have just finished The Warriors Princess,which was absolutely gripping,couldn't put it down, one of the very best !! I always take one on holiday and find myself reading slower e and slower as it gets towards the end.I am always sad when it is finished.Look forward to the river. Best wishes.Diane x

josie on 21/03/13

I have just finished river of destiny, what a wonderful book, I loved the 3 stories, and how they all fitted in so well together, I couldn,t stop reading it, but also didn,t want it to finish. I can hardly wait for the next book. Thank you so much !

Jenny on 16/03/13

I have only just discovered barbara Erskine! As a member of a book club in my village, I decided to suggest River of Destiny to the group as our next read. I purchased it from Waitrose in Colchester as part of a '3 for 2' deal. The name was somehow familiar but I knew nothing more than this.
I am absolutely hooked! I have always loved history having been born in an old house in North London in the late 1940s, studying it at 'A' Level and then teaching aspects to Primary school children for many years.
What is particularly poignant about River of Destiny is that a dear friend lost her life last year in the River Deben at Woodbridge and seeing the video clips of the river on the website is helping me come to terms with my friend's death.
I am so glad to have found Barbar and will definitely be reading her other books! Thank you Barbara for providing me both with an escape from dificult times and for being such a glorious pleasure to read.

judy rowland on 22/10/12

dear barbara, i love reading your books.i cant put them down, and my daughters love your books as much as i do.why has no-one made them into films?im an avid reader but you are by far my favourite writer.with thanks for the great pleasure your books bring,x

Margaret Maultsaid on 06/10/12

I have just finished reading "River of Destiny", and thoroughly enjoyed it,
like all your other books, (I have read every one) it was not put downable, the intrigue would not let one!!! Thanks, Barbara, looking forward to you next publication!!!!

Julie Hopkins on 03/10/12

Thank you for the books you have written. I always look forward to your next book. Your novels transport me to places and times that I long to visit.

Moira on 27/09/12

Just finished River of Destiny, as usual couldn't put it down. Can't wait fir the next one.

PAMELA JONES on 18/09/12

In the middle of 'River of Destiny', really enjoying it, have it on Kindle & it makes my journey to work too short! I much prefer this type of ghost story, more like' The House of Echoes' ( which is my absolute favorite). I have read all of your books. Please give us more good ghost stories.

Val Dockree on 16/09/12

I have just finished reading Rivers of Destiny, what a fantastic book, can't wait for the next one as I have read all of your previous novels, my favourite being Lady of Hay but I love all of your work. I was born in Hereford, live in Norfolk and spent many holidays in Glastonbury and your books bring these places to life in the past well done

Tanja on 03/09/12

Greetings from finland. I must been your biggest fan in finland. I`ve reed already: Lady of hay, Child of the phoenix, The warrior`s princess, Midnight is the lonely place, kingdom of shadows. Now i am readind Whispers in the Sand. After that i have in my bookcase more of your book`s on hold. Unfortunately i can`t read your books in finish, but fortunately i can read english. There only three book that is translated in finish. Because i love them so much i will read them in english, Eaven it`s bit slower that way. I enjoy your books more than eny other books ever. I love history too and i would hope that i could find out my own famiy history secrets, there are secret`s and some of them are already been revealed, but there is more i can tell. I have my lead`s. I hope if i find the rest of the story, last pieces of puzzle, then i could be write novel about that. That is one of my dream.

Thank you so much to writing all these wounderfull stories!

Heather Robb on 01/09/12

I have read all your books, Barbara, and loved them all. I always get a feeling your ancient stories come to you-- maybe the ghosts of the past want their stories told. This has happened to me many times, and so we write as they dictate in a sense--- Combining the present adds another dimension and understanding and an awareness of how our souls may be linked via past lives, soul group memory or inherited memory. Also places and objects hold signatures of the past too, and often breath that history into our inner knowing. A story teller is the best to record these stories; they are so alive as they imprint these memories onto us. I also have felt many WANT thier stories told----
For me, you do this wonderfully and with sensitivity and respect for the past and a love for the place. I always look forward to your books-- and if ever you want some rich and deep ancient stories, let me know-- i have many --
with best wishes

Heather Robb Australia

Sue from North Devon on 18/08/12

Have just finished reading River of Destiny.It was brilliant,very atmospheric and spooky.Couldn't put it down .

Sam on 02/08/12

Hi , Have just finished river of Destiny! I live with in spitting distance of Sutton Hoo and went up when the archeaoligists were there in the 80s! It was a fascinating read and very concise to the area! I am a semi pro photographer and have been up there taking many shots around the river paths just beyond there! It brings life to the pictures! It was just a fab read once again! How soon before you start the next novel?? I have read everything thus far! Well done SAM x

Nicola Mainwaring on 01/08/12

Just finished reading River of Destiny, abslolutely fabulous book! Really loved it.

I have read all your books from Lady of Hay, right through to this one and I am never disappointed. I have had to replace my own personal favourite House of Echoes more than once, due to my copies falling apart, due to me reading again and again.

I really felt the menace of the Viking Ship, and could almost sense its iciness and terror in my room. I will have to choose now which one of your novels to read again!

That's my only regret about finishing River of Destiny, what will I read now?

sandra finney on 30/07/12




Pam Ricks on 29/07/12

A very good friend introduced me to your wonderful books several years ago. I am so pleased she did as I love reading them. My sister kindly bought me two of your books for my recent birthday, but as thoughtful as it was, I had read both. I came onto this site to get the titles of your last two novels, so hopefully she can return the ones I have read and swap them for your latest. I love writing and have always wanted to write a novel or two, but have not had the time as yet. You definately inspire me and I won't give up on my dream!

John Clifford on 28/07/12

River of Destiny was brilliant. Finished it early a.m. and now shattered. I am recommending it to all my friends. Thank you Barbara. Have read all your books and look forward to the next one.

Susan Jones on 18/07/12

Just finished reading Time's Legacy and I loved it, such a touching story. Now I've found On the Edge of Darkness.

Dee on 16/07/12

It appears all so daunting and lovely at the same time. The quiet of your home will be one of many rewards, I'm sure~
I'm reading yet another of book of yours-taking it on holiday.It has traveled from here in the BC valley to Vancouver Island.It'll be interesting to see who's hands your book will find in the end:) A few cheezie stains later.

Dee from BC.

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