Hello everyone! Monday has come around again and I’m pleased to welcome author Diana Jackson to the blog. Diana’s latest novel ‘Murder, Now and Then’ is a gripping Murder Mystery based in Bedfordshire. Not only that but it’s set in 1919 and also 2019.
I always like to have a variety of genres on the blog so it’s nice to be able to showcase a mystery novel.
‘Murder, Now and Then’, your latest novel, is a Murder Mystery that focuses on two murders, one in 1919 and another in 2019, What gave you the idea to write the story? And what exciting things can we expect to happen?
I was researching for my previous novel, Ancasta Guide me Swiftly Home, historical fiction set in the Southampton area, Alderney and Guernsey through The Great War, when I had an email from a lady in The Channel Islands Great War Study Group.
Did you know that a young lady from Jersey was murdered near to where you live in 1919? I cycled to see her grave and it spurred me to delve into her story. Loss, vulnerability and greed are traits which underpin my characters’ actions ~ that and man’s insatiable desire to delve into the sins and tragedies in their family history.
Was it nice to research and see how Bedfordshire has changed since 1919?
The area near Haynes Park has changed little since 1919. All of the buildings have been converted into family homes but, standing in the hamlet near the church, it is not difficult to imagine what it might have been like for ‘Lucille Vardon’ when working as a QMAAC. I put her name in quotes because I have changed all the names from the original unsolved murder case.
Do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
I am researching for the third book in my Riduna series at the moment, which will take the family through from 1920 to the mid thirties – exciting times – but I have a couple of smaller projects to release meanwhile – one set in Scotland. It was a delight to write, but I don’t want to give away too much at present.
Currently, you are taking a break from teaching English and Business to focus on your writing, what made you make the jump?
Fate – serendipity – I had been discussing taking a sabbatical with my line manager when we were handed envelopes offering us voluntary redundancy – I think they wanted most of us to leave. At the same time my husband was offered an opportunity in Scotland. I am telling the story of my nine month Scottish Writer’s retreat in Fife on my other blog selectionsofreflections.wordpress.com
Will I go back to teaching? I’d rather continue to work in writing and publishing full time but we’ll see.
One of your other interest is history, is there a particular time period you’re fascinated about? For me, it’s Victorian.
I enjoy the Victorian and Edwardian period too and have focused on that era for my research. For women especially, it was a time of great change. The Riduna series will span from the mid nineteenth century to the early thirties, but I am currently reading a novel set in the time of The Wars of the Roses called Warwick – a totally unfamiliar period for me. I also grew up on Thomas Hardy and Jane Austen ~ so the answer to your question is that I love social history ~ not so much ‘what happened, although that’s interesting’ but ‘what was it like for people to live in those days.’
Lastly I’ve noticed that there are two different book covers. Why is that?
The covers for ‘Murder, now and then’ were as a result of a task set to design students who needed business experience. This was ultimately turned into a competition and there were two clear winners, so I decided to launch one on the Kindle version and the other on the paperback. I hope it is not confusing for people because it it the same novel.
No interview is complete without a question about Tea, how do you take your Tea?
Milk and no sugar, please. I’ve really enjoyed our chat!
About ‘Murder, Now and Then’
Murder, now and then is a murder mystery with a sense on history set in the heart of Bedfordshire in 2019 with flashbacks to an original unsolved murder in 1919. A young Jersey girl, in the Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps, based at Haynes Park camp during and after the Great War, was murdered.
One hundred years later at a farmhouse close by, Joanna an unconventional farmer’s wife, is accused of murdering her husband. As the police struggle to find any motive or murder weapon, some are compelled to believe that the two murders are linked, uncovering several unlikely suspects, none of whom have convincing alibis.The tale turns decidedly sinister as the two murders are increasingly entwined.
Living in the heart of Bedfordshire, UK, once a teacher of English and Business Studies, Diana Jackson now enjoys writing full time.
As you will see if you visit her blog or facebook page, Diana’s other passions are social history, gardening, cooking her own produce, following her husband’s rock and roll band and her more recent absorbing interest in early flight, especially flying boats.
Although Diana’s initial inspiration to write was her great grandmother, an Alderney girl, leading to the conception of the ‘Riduna Series’, she stresses that her novels are purely fiction. She takes the reader from the mid Victorian era through to 1920 and plans a third in the series to the mid thirties.
To find out about the ‘Riduna Series’ and Diana Jackson’s other writing projects, you can meet her in person at her various book signing events and talks, or say hello virtually on Twitter at @Riduna.
Find out more about Diana at her website www.dianamaryjackson.co.uk.