A Little Space to be Creative

  • A glimpse into the background/setting of my novel, a book bundle roundup, a writing tip and 10 tips for writing while homeschooling

Hi Friends, Readers and Fellow Writers,

The school holidays have gone by dizzyingly fast and term two has begun! Over the break, my children got absorbed in pretty epic projects so they didn't mind the lock-down and I got quite a lot done on my book marketing, website building and other fun author stuff. Now it's time to roll up the sleeves and dive back into writing and homeschooling.

A Peek into the Background/Setting of Agata, Princess of Iberia

At 18, I ventured off to a mysterious country called Ukraine and spent more than 12 months volunteering in the education sphere. It was 1993, a couple of years after the Berlin Wall came down - exciting times! I came across Georgians there but little did I know that one day I would write a novel set in their country.

When I started planning out Agata, I wanted to find a place or a people from ancient to early medieval times that had been under represented in fiction novels.

Time and again, I came back to the Caucasus region. I couldn't find any fiction genre novels (in English!) set there, yet it has a rich, fascinating history. I got lost on many historical rabbit trails and dragged myself out of the research to actually write the book.

Picture the mighty mass of Russia and below it, the bulk of Europe. Wedged in between the two is a small land mass with the Black Sea on one side and the Caspian Sea on the other. This is Transcaucasia (and Ciscaucasia), the gateway between Europe and Asia. In the map below, the white part is Georgia today.

The history of the Caucasus region may be divided into the history of the Northern Caucasus (Ciscaucasia), historically in the sphere of influence of Scythia and of Southern Russia (Eastern Europe), and that of the Southern Caucasus (Transcaucasia; Caucasian Albania, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan) in the sphere of influence of Persia, Anatolia and for a very brief time Assyria.

I like reading about history but I prefer to relax with genre fiction, (adventure, thrills, excitement) rather than literary fiction. So my historical research provided the setting for Agata only. The time period is so full of upheaval and the changing of power structures that it is quite hard to unravel the people, places and events.

The records mention daughters of nobles and kings but rarely name them, so I decided to write about a fictitious girl, rather than a known male figure. Georgia has really exciting countryside; magnificent mountains and valleys, beautiful caves and waterfalls, lots of old architecture plus hot springs. Perfect for a novel setting!

To celebrate the heroic female in fiction, I've found a book bundle featuring strong female lead characters. A good female lead is something I really enjoy in a book. Click the banner above to access the bundle and find free samples, novelettes and even free full length novels in the giveaway.

I like to add something in for the young adult and middle graders when I can. I enjoy books from these age categories too. A good one I read recently is Icefall by Matthew J Kirby where Princess Solveig and her siblings are trapped in a hidden fortress in the mountains, hiding from her father's enemies. I couldn't put this one down. Click here to purchase from Amazon - https://tinyurl.com/yaraqgoc

Click on the banner below to find free books and samples for young people.

Middle Graders Love to Read Too!

Children's Books Giveaway - free samples, novelettes and full novels

Shout Outs

Some wonderful readers who have left a review or comment on Amazon and Goodreads; Freda, Cilla, Ange, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Reviews really help other readers decide if a book is worth their time and/or money.

S on Goodreads said,

' An interesting read about a time in history that we find hard to understand the total suppression of women and then how one strong, courageous woman breaks out of her role. Intriguing and artfully written. Definitely worth the read.'

Writing Info

Instagram for Authors - Shayla Raquel has an informative tutorial on how to use instagram stories. How to Use Instagram Stories for Authors - https://youtu.be/lmQinKEFuEI

Starting the term and wondering how to keep up the writing schedule?

Entrepreneur.com has a great article 10 Tips for Entrepreneurs to Actually Get Work Done While Homeschooling Kids https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/347877

I need to decide which one to focus on

  • I'm working on a few writing projects all at the same time.

  • the sequel to Agata, Princess of Iberia

  • Ailet - a novella of pre-historic clans people of the steppes

  • Sambeth, Primordial - a pre-flood adventure with elements of magical realism/fantasy

So hard to choose between them.

OK, stay safe and happy - reading/writing/living! I'm getting back to writing and school-at-home.

Thanks for your time,


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