The Next Big Thing

When I was first asked to take part in this Next Big thing blog hop;  I was going through a period of stagnation and writer’s block with regard to my own books and about ready to give up but things have changed. 

I was invited by Gerry McCullough to take part and you can find her own answers to these questions on her blog at I have known Gerry since my days at Night Publishing and read most of her wonderful books and am privileged to have been asked to take part by such an esteemed and respected writer; apart from the fact that Gerry and I share a mutual devotion to the queen of Crime Dame Agatha Christie. I can’t help wondering how Dame Agatha would have coped with KDP Select and Createspace had they been around in her day.

So here are my Q&A.


What is the title of your new book?

Lynchcliffe Chronicles Volume 1: Mise en Scène but people who know me will know that it’s not actually a new book; it’s a re-issue and rebranding of my first novel.

Where did the idea for the book come from?

I got to thinking about children that are raised by others because, for whatever reason, their natural parents could not take care of them. That is where the cuckoo title from the original book that amazingly few people actually got came from. I wanted to do something with the Titanic because the centenary was approaching (I started writing it in 2011). I wanted to throw in a mystery and a romance with an older man and it all came together and I have barely stopped since with all the rewrites etc..

What genre does your book fall under?

Historical adult romance I think is the best description for the book and the series to which it belongs.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I have had great fun with this and even did a Lynchcliffe movie cast blog post some time ago. I have spent ages talking about this with friends who have read my stuff. I am still not 100% sure who I would want to play Margaret, my heroine, but with Lewis Franklin, my working class hero, it’s a close call between Sean Bean and the lovely Robert Bathurst (Sir Anthony Strallan from Downton Abbey/David Marsden from Cold Feet). My only concern being that Robert Bathurst is maybe a little too tall. I would want Martin Shaw to play Jenkins the butler and Pam Ferris (Rosemary & Thyme/Darling Buds of May) to play Mrs Halliwell the cook/housekeeper. Oh and Caroline Catz (Murder in Suburbia/ Doc Martin) to play Lady Lynchcliffe and Gina McKee (Forsyte Saga) to play Celia, Lady Trevelyan because she can do long suffering to perfection. There are plenty more but these are the ones I am definite about.

Will your book be self published or do you have an agent/publisher?

Self published because then I retain copyright and control. Publishers move too slowly and want to change the book you wrote into the book they wish they had written in my experience.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

A month or so for the first ever draft; but I have not stopped since rewriting and changing things plus incorporating a major new plot twist. I hardly recognise the book i originally wrote but that can only be good because of all the help and input I have had to make it what it is today.

What other books would you compare your book to within the genre?

I’m not sure. I have had comparisons to Catherine Cookson but I think mine have more sex and intrigue.  I am rather fond of Sarah Waters’ Tipping the Velvet.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My late partner, David; I wanted to write something lasting above love and the trials and tribulations of life and relationships to dedicate to his memory.

What else about the book might pique a reader’s interest?

The sex for sure plus the enduring friendships and relationships between characters and the fact we get to keep a secret from the other characters for almost the duration of the trilogy.

 Vol 1- ancestry

You can buy the re-branded and reissued Lynchcliffe Chronicles Volume 1: Mise en Scène here in both Kindle and paperback formats.



Other authors

Tricia Drammeh  is someone I have come to know quite well in the last year or so. Admittedly YA fantasy is really not my thing but I am still so pleased she has landed a book contract for her Claiming Words series.

Marj McCrae is the author of Not a Man and The King’s Favourite in which she introduces us to the unforgettable Shuki. She has dealt well with a controversial subject and created  belieevable characters who illustrate the heights to which humanity can rise as well as to the depths of which it can sink.




2 Responses to The Next Big Thing

  1. gerrymccullough says:

    Some fascinating info here, Mel about a series already extremely interesting. Looking forward to reading the revised edition and identifying the plot change! Oh, and thanks heaps for your kind words about me!

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