Today on the Blog I have Nicola Cornick who is a extremely interesting and talented lady.
Hello Nicola – Thank you for taking part in this q and a. Would you like to start by introducing yourself to my readers..?
Hello and thank you very much for inviting me to visit! I’m a British author of historical romance and timeslip mysteries. I also work as a guide and a historian for the National Trust at Ashdown House, and in my spare time I train Guide Dog puppies.
House of Shadows: Can you tell us a bit about it?
House of Shadows is a romantic historical mystery spanning three different time periods, the 17th century, the 19th century and the present. Holly Ansell is desperately trying to find her brother Ben, who has disappeared. In her search for him she stumbles across the diary of a 19th century courtesan and starts to unravel the mystery of the secret marriage between a Queen and a cavalier that took place three hundred and fifty years before…
How did you go about doing the research for the House of Shadows?
Over the years I’ve worked at Ashdown I have accumulated lots of information on the fascinating story of Elizabeth, the Winter Queen and William Craven, the dashing cavalier to whom it was rumoured she was secretly married. I had a good basis of research to draw on but I needed to supplement it with trips to the records office and the Bodleian library in Oxford to check certain documents and also visits to the different estates that William Craven had owned. Happily, this almost always involved a stately home with a great teashop!
Who are your favorite Authors? And what genre of books do you enjoy reading?
When I’m writing I tend to read crime and thrillers. I love Deborah Crombie’s Kincaid and Jones series (I wish they would make a TV series out of those books!) and I enjoy Steve Robinson’s Jefferson Tayte genealogical mysteries. As a treat when I’m in between books I read contemporary and historical romance. I adore Sarah Morgan’s warm and funny writing and have just finished “Christmas Ever After” which made me cry – in a good way! I also love reading Kylie Scott and in historical romance, Anna Campbell and Cara Elliot amongst many other favourites.
What is the best thing about being a writer?
For me it’s about doing the thing I enjoy most in the world – researching history and writing historically inspired stories – for a living. Plus the castles and tearooms it enables me to visit as part of my research!
What is your Favourite writing place?
I love writing at the big table in our living room. There are doors overlooking the garden and beyond that I can see the hills and fields stretching into the distance. On a fine day the sunsets are gorgeous. The only down side is that I’m always getting distracted by the view!
How did you get involved in Volunteering for the National Trust? and tell us more about Ashdown House.
I first became involved with volunteering for the National Trust when I gave up my office job to become a full time writer. I soon discovered that I missed the day- to- day contact with people, so I signed up to show visitors around Ashdown House. I love all things history, so it seemed like the perfect job for me. Over the years I started to research the history of the house and the Craven family, who lived there, and discovered a rags to riches tale of fortunes made and lost, love, passion and scandal, that was totally inspiring for a writer!
And finally – have you started writing your next book? Any clues as to what it maybe about?
I have started the next book and I’m really enjoying it! It’s a dual time period mystery set in the present and the Tudor era and it tells the story of Mary Seymour, daughter of Queen Catherine Parr and Thomas Seymour.
Thank you for taking the time to answer these.
Thank you very much for inviting me! It’s been fun!
House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick is out 5th November (Mira, original paperback £7.99)
These amazing images of Ashdown House were taken by Nicola’s husband Andrew