I’ve always written Medieval Romance, but I love many time periods and have often thought about writing in a different time period. A couple of years ago, when studying for my Masters in Creative Writing, I used the opportunity to explore new genres and time periods, and so I began my research into the Victorian era. I’ve always loved the social history from the nineteenth century, and simply adore some of the classic nineteenth century literature, such as Jane Eyre and all of Austen’s novels. I was then approached by my editor to write an inspirational historical romance for the Ponder This series, and I knew then, that I would be writing a Victorian piece.
There is a Victorian stately home, called Brodsworth Hall, very near to where I live, and I’ve visited it many times. I am always fascinated about the local history of the place, and when I walk around the grand entrances and meander through the corridors, I can’t help but imagine what it would have been like to live in such a place. Brodsworth Hall, unlike other British stately homes, has not been restored to its former glory. Of course, it has had renovations of sorts, but they have left the original decor and furnishings. As such, when you walk around the home, there are some parts of it that are in a feeble state of repair. It has endured generations of wear and tear, and towards the end its glory, lack of funds prevented it to be cared for in a manner it demanded. This is what inspired me, in part, to write A Field of Forget-me-Nots. ‘Longworth Hall’ is every bit inspired by Brodsworth. In my novella, Longworth has been neglected over the years due to mounting debts and an ailing mistress. And through my research I discovered that the Victorians considered the idea of home to be very important, and so the theme of ‘home’ also plays a large part in A Field of Forget-me-nots.
My editor asked me to write a novella based around Philippians 4:8, in particular, focusing on ‘Whatever is noble’. The first thing that sprang to mind was the Wife of Noble Character from Proverbs 31. I’ve always seen this character as an ideal to aspire to but wondered what this type of woman would have been like. Thus, this is what I set out to do, create a lead character that modelled the Proverbs 31 woman. Prominent Victorian writers, such as Mrs Beeton, modelled how women could run the household, which very much parodied, in my opinion, the Proverbs 31 character. And so, my heroine, Georgiana Weston, was born.
So why did I write this story? I wanted to explore themes of love and marriage, womanhood, home and faith, and I did so in this Victorian novella, A Field of Forget-me-nots. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it!