It's a great pleasure to welcome you back to my blog, Valerie. I'm looking forward to hearing about your work and the inspiration for your Yorkshire sagas.
Here is Valerie walking the North Yorkshire "trods" as these ancient pathways across the moors are known locally.
'Thank you for inviting me to talk about my work and The Yorkshire Saga series, Margaret.
'I was fortunate that, as a student of creative writing, I had a brilliantly supportive tutor who inspired me to persevere in the face of initial rejections (a vital lesson to take on board for anyone who is serious about making it through to publication).
'My first novella was published in 2003. I love writing novellas and did so for the next fifteen years, having over forty titles published; romance and mystery, historical and contemporary. I look on them as my apprenticeship as authors continually improve their skills the more they write.
'My strap-line is: Love the Adventure! - and I do.
'Writing is a solitary occupation, the research is all encompassing, editing, drafting, redrafting - the whole process from initial idea to published book is a labour of love.
'The Yorkshire Saga series is set in my birth county of North Yorkshire where I've spent many happy days exploring the coast, moors and forests, discovering its ancient abbeys, stately homes and researching its chequered history.
'The beautiful coastal bay towns such as Whitby, Robin Hoods Bay, Staithes and Saltburn-by-Sea (my "Ebton" is where To Have and To Hold begins) were places where smuggling thrived in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.'
Above is Valerie's fictional Ebton...
...and one of her favourite churches.
'Although we tend to glorify smugglers nowadays, historically they were plying a violent trade. But taxes were unduly high, war was ongoing, and the government did not care for the plight of the common man.
'With many changes happening both here and abroad, life in both town and countryside was becoming more challenging as machinery replaced cottage industries, so tensions were high. The period between 1800-1825 fascinates me. It is an excellent era in which to set stories that are packed with mystery, love and drama.'
Thank you for bringing us up to date, Valerie! You can find out more about Valerie and her fiction at: www.valerieholmesauthor.com.