Sunday, January 3, 2016

Martine Bailey

From a Q & A with Martine Bailey, author of An Appetite for Violets and A Taste for Nightshade:

Cheshire is famed for its historic beauty, its leafy lanes and distinctive black and white buildings. Does Cheshire play any part in your writing?

Martine: In An Appetite For Violets I imagined Mawton Hall to be in the borderlands between Cheshire and Wales. That is where the real-life Erddig Hall that inspired me is, and its wonderful 18th-century kitchen. Cheshire's landscape is particularly soft and green and it's easy to half -close your eyes and imagine the past. In the village where I live nothing much has changed over the centuries; as I write I have a long view of the tower of Chester Cathedral over fields of dairy cattle, while to the south I can gaze at the distant Welsh hills.

My new novel, The Penny Heart [US title: A Taste for Nightshade], also has a Chester link. When I was living and writing in New Zealand and Australia, I discovered that the best account of the early European settlement was written by a Chester soldier named Watkins Tench. He tells such a sympathetic and humane story about the early convicts, the aboriginal people and the desperate starvation years that I think there should be statue erected to him in Chester! I also based some aspects of Delafosse Hall on a once abandoned Jacobean house called Plas Teg, near where I live, though other great houses...[read on]
My Book, The Movie: An Appetite for Violets.

The Page 69 Test: An Appetite for Violets.

--Marshal Zeringue