Sunday, 6 September 2015

Life at Babcock Manor - My Second Serial for The People's Friend


It's been a busy time publication-wise over the last couple of weeks but by far the most exciting has been the first episode of my serial 'Life at Babcock Manor' in The People's friend.

This is my second serial and is an 'upstairs-downstairs' style family saga set in the 1850s. It starts when governess Emily arrives at the house owned by Doctor Craven and his wife to tutor their daughter, Elizabeth. Why is beautiful Mrs Craven so strange and distant? What trouble will her brother Lewis cause for the family? Will new maid Elsa come between kitchen maid Jenny and young footman Robert? I can't tell you the fun I had trying to answer these questions and more.

The inspiration behind Life at Babcock Manor was a Christmas story I wrote for The Friend a couple of years ago called, The Last Candle. Even as I was writing it, I knew there were more stories to be told about my characters. Eagle-eyed readers might remember some of the characters: gruff Mrs Banbury, the cook; serious housekeeper, Mrs Peters; Jenny's little brother, Jed. All of them return - along with new characters, flighty ward Belinda, dashing Lewis and kind new doctor James Upton. Governess, Emily, was the heroine in my People's Friend canal-side story, Workshop of the World. I love re-using characters, moving them to different locations and seeing what happens to them.

As I've mentioned before, the People's Friend is holding a serial writing competition. To help promote it, I was asked by Writers' Forum columnist, Doug McPherson, to give a few words about serial writing to go alongside those of fiction editor, Shirley Blair. Seeing this photo had made me realise I really must get a new one done - it's been around too long.

Alongside Life at Babcock Manor is my short story, The Iron Man. It opens the magazine. Did you know that this is the name given to the wind pumps on American farms? No, nor did I until I started to write the story for the great illustration my editor sent me, and did some research. Every now and again I'll write a story set in another country just for a change. I find writing about a different place (especially one I've never been to) challenging but also refreshing.

I also have a story called The Grapes of Love in Take a Break Fiction Feast, but as it relates to something I shall be doing in a couple of weeks time, I shall leave the inspiration behind this story until then.

Finally, for the first time, writing chum, Tracy Fells, and I have joined forces for a feature! We are talking to Lynne Hackles in her Novel Ideas column about the importance of writing buddies and teacakes -what else! Without Tracy's support I wouldn't have achieved half of my goals... honestly.

You can find Lynne's Column in Writing Magazine.

So that's it for this week. On Tuesday I am off to Skopelos for a week to soak up the sun and to add the final details to my Greek romantic suspense. It's all but finished and will hopefully be ready to send out to agents once I'm back. Exciting stuff. Can't wait!

21 comments:

  1. Just this morning I read the feature about you and Tracy in Writing Mag. I do like the idea of tea (or coffee in my case) and cakes and writing inspiration. Well done on the second serial. Enjoy your holiday - of course it's research.

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  2. What a week you've had in the press, Wendy. I think you need that holiday! Have a lovely time. Will be waiting on next Cobblestone visit for an update. And thank you for the lovely words above :)

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    1. Sometimes publications are like buses, aren't they. Looking forward to next teacake session.

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  3. Always good to see your successes, Wendy, congratulations.

    Every so often what starts as a short story has potential to be a longer one, and you quickly realise it- I have a few like that waiting for me to use. :-)

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    1. My novel started out as a short story, Carol.

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    2. Well done Wendy, what a successful week, so nice to see the fruits of your labour. Enjoy your holiday.
      Linda

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  4. Wow - I'm exhausted reading about your prolific output, Wendy! Your serial sounds great and I do love a good romantic suspense so look forward to your Greek novel. Enjoy your break!

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    1. Thanks, Rosemary. Hoping to get it finished while I'm here.

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  5. loving the serial wendy, can't wait to read the next part, and the iron man is such a sensitive story and so interesting set in a different country.

    enjoy your holiday xx

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    1. So glad you're enjoying the serial, Sue.

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  6. Sounds like you needed a holiday, Wendy. Many congratulations on all your successes. I enjoyed the WM article. Have a lovely week.

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  7. What a lovely serial with superb characters, Wendy, and what an amazing week all round too. Congratulations on all your recent successes and I'm glad you had a wonderful holiday too. Much needed, I would think! xxx

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    1. I had a wonderful time thank you, Joanna.

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  8. I picked up Fiction Feast this week, and my favourite bloggers were all in there. At least I seem to be following the right people for inspiration! Well done on all your successes.

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    1. Ahh That's nice, Maggie.. Thanks for popping over.

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  9. Well done on serial Wendy - it's great! How was Skopelos? Just returned from Skiathos so sailed to Skopelos for the day. Holiday was great but got bitten to death by mosies - did you?

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    1. Hi Lydia. If you go to my most recent blog post, I tell all about it! No problem with middies but wasps... Grrr!

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  10. Well done on serial Wendy - it's great! How was Skopelos? Just returned from Skiathos so sailed to Skopelos for the day. Holiday was great but got bitten to death by mosies - did you?

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