14 November 2013
Nell Dixon introduces her latest release.
An Uncivil War is the new release from multi award winning author, Nell Dixon.
Overworked, over budget and just so not over him! Kate would like an engagement ring from Steve but instead he's lumbered them with a thirteenth renovation project, and doing up Myrtle Cottage disturbs a ghost from the English Civil War who has romance troubles of her own.
~An Uncivil War was formerly published as Renovation, Renovation, Renovation by Myrmidon Press~
Writing Renovation, Renovation, Renovation was challenging in many ways. The dual storyline, Mary Ann’s story from 1643 and Kate’s story in the present day both had to work together. The research for the present day story of Kate, her sister Lou and the current story of Myrtle Cottage involved looking at everything from boy bands to planning regulations, séances to tracing the history of a property through time. Then there was Vegas weddings, the Osmonds and international crime so lots of things to consider.
Just to make things harder, for Mary Ann’s story, the research involved looking at the English Civil war, key battles, clothes, food, lifestyles and Myrtle Cottage as it would have been when it was barely a hundred years old.
To ensure accuracy I visited the archaeological dig at Shakespeare’s house at Stratford Upon Avon, went to a Civil War re-enactment at Kenilworth Castle with the Sealed Knot society and studied volumes of books on history and costumes.
I handled cooking pots and samplers, examined bonnets and skirts and studied medicines and uses of herbs. The scent of lavender plays a big part in the story, both in the past and in the present day.
Here’s a taster:
Large white cabbage butterflies flapped around the weed ridden bed of herbs and fat, lazy bumble bees droned amongst the white daisies and blue lobelia that spilled all over the stone flags of the patio. It was too nice to wait inside the cottage so I wandered around the neglected flowerbeds, wondering where the lavender scent that I’d noticed the previous day had come from.
Sage, thyme and rosemary straggled out onto the path and Mr Flibble lay stretched out and content in a sunny patch amongst the mint. There was no sign of any lavender, just bindweed, nettles and a rampant bed of foxgloves.
I poked around in the undergrowth with the handle of a broom. A lavender bush must be lurking somewhere. I found nothing.
© Nell Dixon 2013
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