Meet crime writer David Field!

20171103_135328

Having come from a career in criminal law, has the discipline of attention to detail and meticulous planning carried over to your writing career?

A court lawyer develops many skills, including the ability to double-guess what ‘the other side’ are going to come up with. The ability to get inside the mind of another is perhaps the greatest asset I developed which came in useful when I turned my mind to writing fiction.

When and where did you decide to change direction from dealing with criminals to
writing about crime?

I began writing as an ‘escape valve’ from the stresses of criminal practice long before I retired from it. Then my hobby became my full time activity.

Have you always been drawn to the certain periods of history in which you have based your series?

Like most students of school history I found the Tudor period of interest because of the colourful characters who stepped out of the otherwise dry pages. But my reading preference was for Dickens and Conan Doyle, so the late Victorian period beckoned, and most notably characters such as Jack the Ripper, who’d been covered so often in fiction that I had to find another angle. The female Ripper came naturally to mind, and ‘The Gaslight Stalker’ was born.

The-Gaslight-Stalker[1]

 

From post war Nottingham of your childhood you now have an extended family who live in New South Wales as you do? When did you make the life changing move from the UK to Australia and why?

I emigrated in 1989, for four reasons. I can list them as sun, surf, BBQs and Margaret Thatcher.

Which of your series has given you the greatest challenge to research and write and why?

Probably the Victorian one, for the reason so much was happening then, and finding a novel approach (no pun intended) was always a challenge.

The Tudor period has had a lot of books set within it. How have you achieved giving yours a unique approach or feel?

Back to earlier answers for this one. First of all, I was drawn to getting inside the heads of those monarchs about whom so much had already been written (e.g. how many times will a reader want to learn of Henry VIII’s lust for Anne Boleyn?). But I was first drawn towards Henry VII (‘Tudor Dawn’) and Cardinal Wolsey (‘The King’s Commoner’), because although their lives were pivotal to what followed, very few authors had thought them worthy of attention. Then it was a matter of seeing well known events from inside the heads of Jane Grey (‘The Uneasy Crown’), Mary Tudor and the young Elizabeth (‘The Queen in Waiting’), and finally Elizabeth in her own right (‘The Heart of a King’).

The Victorian period was one of many inventions in all aspects of life. How have you brought these into your Carlyle and West books to make your characters forward thinking for the time?

Following on from my fascination with Conan Doyle, I dreamed up a contemporary of his (Dr Carlyle) who would also have studied under Dr James Bell and acquired the same observational detective skills as Sherlock Holmes, who was based on Bell. Then I threw in the late Victorian obsession with Spiritualism, and the flourishing of Methodism, to give literary birth to the devout and naive Matthew West as a perfect foil for the scientific and experimental Carlyle.

Would you ever consider writing a series or a standalone novel based upon the early history of New South Wales?

I already have! There is a quartet of novels that cover four generations of the same family, from a convict guard on the First Fleet to a schoolteacher who becomes associated with Ned Kelly.
They are on a long list of my novels awaiting publication by Sapere.

Who has inspired you in your life and in your writing career?

As a criminal lawyer, I had a lifelong admiration of Norman Birkett. In a literary context I’ve already mentioned Dickens and Conan Doyle. Throw in Ken Follett and Hilary Mantel and you have the set.

How have you kept mentally and physically fit during the recent pandemics and
lockdown – or has it been more or less life a normal for you?

Like most full time writers with the luxury of being in retirement mode, nothing has changed except that my son and grandchildren live in an adjoining State whose borders have been either closed completely or made very difficult to cross. We haven’t seen them since January.

What is next for David Field?

Back to the beginning. I started writing for my own amusement, but after proving that I can get published (16 times and rising!) I’m back to writing what grabs me rather than simply for a publisher. I’ve always been fascinated by the ‘supernatural’, and I’m now into my second novel about a ‘Ghost Whisperer’ who can not only see and talk with ghosts, but sets about remedying the disorder that has led to the haunting, thereby ‘exorcising’ the problem for grateful and wealthy clients.

51K5bJnrq1L[1]

Catching up: Sapere Books 1 year on!

logo-1-circle_filled

Congratulations to Amy, Caoimhe and Richard on there first birthday as Sapere Books.

Amy has taken time out of her busy schedule to share some of the events that have happened in this amazing first year.

Since we last caught up in March 2018, a lot has happened at Sapere Books! We now have over 40 authors who have joined the Sapere family, and we have published lots of fabulous novels in our first year.

The genres we were looking for initially are thriving: crime fiction; historical fiction and romantic fiction are all very popular with our readers, and books in a series do particularly well for us. We are just about to publish in a genre we haven’t tried yet: military ‘action and adventure’ fiction, and we are preparing to launch titles in that genre by this time next year, including a Vietnam combat series and Tudor-era naval fiction.

Us with Catherine 2

The team with the winner of The Sapere Books Popular Romantic Fiction Award, Catherine Isaac

One of the most exciting announcements for us in our first year is our sponsorship of two excellent writing awards. In March we sponsored a new award for 2019 from the Romantic Novelists’ Association: The Sapere Books Popular Romantic Fiction Award. The shortlist was very strong and the winner was Catherine Isaac for her wonderful novel YOU ME EVERYTHING. We are also the new sponsors of the Crime Writers’ Association Historical Dagger Award. The shortlist will be announced at CrimeFest in May and I can’t wait to read them all! We are also currently interviewing for our first full-time staff member, which is very exciting, so we should have a new Editorial Assistant to introduce to our authors soon!

Many of the authors we signed up before our launch are working on new projects with us, as they are thrilled with reader feedback and the wonderful work Caoimhe has been doing marketing our books: we regularly feature on Amazon’s best-seller lists, and have been getting Kindle deals world-wide, from the US to Australia – and even India!

We don’t anticipate growing our list hugely in the next year, as we already have so many amazing books scheduled for release, but we will continue to support our Sapere family and we hope all of our authors will continue working with us for many years to come!

party
Happy Birthday Sapere Books!

 

The Gothic beauty of York Minster

The beautiful medieval York Minster, with its great Gothic towers stands out as you approach the ancient city that has held an important place in British history for centuries.

This Christian place of worship is actually ‘The Cathedral and Metropolitan church of St Peter in York’ but it is loved and known both locally and afar as ‘The Minister’. It is no wonder that it has stood the test of time as it was started in 1220 but was not completed until 1472.

The term ‘Minster’ has come down through time from its original ‘monasterium’ through the Saxon spelling ‘mynster’ to its present day form. It was a place where missionaries sent by Pope Gregory sent priests to convert the pagan Saxons in the late C6.

Under the building its history is lovingly preserved as it houses the ancient centre of the ancient Roman fortress, The Basilica. The very first Christian church on the site has been traced back to the C7 with the Pope recognizing the first Archbishop of York in AD 732. It is, and has been a very important centre of Christianity representing the church in the north of the country.

It has survived an arson attack in 1829 and more recently in 1984 a lightning strike destroyed the roof in the south transept. Fortunately the nearby River Ouse provided a plentiful supply of water for the powerful jets to send it high enough to save the beautiful building’s stained glass windows some of which dates back 800 years.

This is more than a historical building is more than just an amazing piece of architecture. It is a time capsule to a very interesting past in a city of many layers. Today it is still a place of worship with a busy Diocese.

When Abigail walks through its doors she does so to throw her pursuers off her trail. In Regency times this building would appear as a monument of stunning proportions to a young woman who had not travelled far, even from a modest North Yorkshire manor house. York had many timber Tudor style buildings then which would have made it stand out even more.

If you pass through York, stay awhile and explore its interiors from the amazing C15 Great East Window, 15th century, which is claimed to be the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world to the amazing ceiling of the nave, the courtyard or the towers.

It is certainly worth staying a while and exploring its depth. If you go in February you can even meet The Vikings!

dscn0283