Greetings to the members of Author’s Lounge! As we all know, the gracious support of other writers and booklovers can make all the difference for a debut author such as myself. It means a lot to be able to tell you about Hawkesmoor. Deeply appreciated indeed and thank you all for the opportunity.
I like to think Hawkesmoor is good fun. The kind of book made for rainy days, a warm place to curl up and a pot of hot tea. Written for those – like me – who love the eerie and things that go bump in the night. People who might like the climes of Autumn and Halloween to last all year long.
It’s a paranormal mystery that follows the adventures of a very British vampire, Robin Dashwood, who returns to Hawkesmoor Castle in Yorkshire – the place of his 18th century human birth –to investigate the truth behind a brutal murder from the past. What Robin uncovers goes far beyond murder, shining a torch on the shadowy rise of the revenant and, in turn, imperiling those he loves. The cantilevered paranormal universe of Hawkesmoor is a fusion of my own imaginings and, as my family is from the island of Anglesey in North Wales, the Celtic mysticism that swirled all around me as I grew up. Very much hope readers will enjoy Hawkesmoor’s mixture of foul play, folklore and British history!
I decided to write this particular story after reading about the major restoration of Burghley House in the 1980s. Victoria Latham’s lively, detailed and often very funny book about this massive undertaking really stuck with me long after I’d finished it. She wrote of discovering Papal bulls in old Victorian filing cabinets, secret rooms and treasure troves of Elizabethan furniture stored up in the attics. What an adventure!
The thought occurred to me that writing a mystery set within a historic house might be especially fun if one of the main characters could actually remember the property from a vastly earlier era. Pondering who might best possess such a lengthy memory, I came up with Robin Dashwood, history professor and reluctant vampire. I gave him a romantic foil in Lady Caroline DeBarry, the eldest daughter of the Earl of Hawkesmoor, who is burdened with trying to sort major repairs to the castle. Lady Caroline who is brave and capable, helps Robin right a terrible wrong and make peace with his turbulent past.
In the end, I hope all of the elements of Hawkesmoor have melded together to produce a story that readers will want to slip into for a bit of an escape. That’s the main thing for me – writing a novel with characters that people might like and care about, caught in strange and intriguing adventures. Although it would be great to claim a book of mine defines the human condition or rivals the intellectual spirals of Proust, I really just want it to be satisfying story.
Will be publishing at least two more Hawkesmoor novels. This is hugely gratifying and I’m currently finishing Hawkesmoor 2 for an October 2021 launch. They are also publishing two other non-Hawkesmoor related novels – Spider Hall, a modern-day haunted house story and A Season for Wolves, a suspense story set around events of the French Revolution. So, barring an alien invasion – not inconceivable given the past year — 2021/2022 should be a really exciting time.
If it’s any inspiration to a writer currently working hard but still waiting for that first breakthrough, this has been a long time coming. In the past, I have occasionally pondered the wisdom packing it in as a writer because the business of writing can seem incredibly unrewarding. Happily, though, kept going and eventually Hawkesmoor found a home with a wonderful editor. Hang in there, fellow writers awaiting that first sale!
When I am not writing, I am a professional ballet choreographer who, perhaps unsurprisingly – specializes in dramatic narrative ballets. We’re a theatrical family. My husband is a filmmaker. Our two sons write and work in film. Covid-19 has devastated the entertainment industry and the fallout produced a real rollercoaster of a year for us.I have been profoundly grateful for books in general and the opportunity writing provides to disappear from the fray. It has been such a relief to work on Hawkesmoor’s sequel, sending Robin Dashwood on another eerie quest.
Again, thank you, Author’s Lounge for allowing me to tell you about my novel! Very grateful for the interest and support. I’m very pleased to say that Hawkesmoor is available everywhere and if any of you might be thinking of reading it, check this link:
If anyone would like to connect with me on social media, I can be found on Facebook at “The Hawkesmoor Club” and on Twitter at @AnneMerino4.