My guest this Tuesday is author, Elizabeth Gates, who has come along to talk about her writing. So without further ado, let’s go over to Elizabeth.
How do Tales of derring-do draw us in?
I live on the Wirral, between the two great cultural and historical centres of Liverpool and Chester but I’m also surrounded by countryside. My own little patch includes a garden, marsh and beach on the Wirral coast, famed for its wild birds. I’m usually followed by a trail of happy humans, cats and labradors.
Although I’ve lived here for decades, I’ve also lived abroad in Belgium, Germany and France as well as other parts of the United Kingdom. For example, I picked up a Bachelors’ degree at Bedford College, University of London, and a Masters at the University of Essex in Colchester. At the same time, I’ve been teaching – at home and abroad – English Literature and Creative Writing at colleges and universities.
In addition to this, my own writing career is well-established. For twenty-five years (1985-2010) I worked as a freelance journalist, mostly on Public Health issues. These ranged from mental health among members of the armed forces returning from Afghanistan to suicides among farmers. I even interviewed Phillipino mariners – waiting for a passage home, trapped in Liverpool docks.
So how did these widely different experiences lead to my tales of derring-do in 18th Century Scotland and Revolutionary Paris? I’m not sure, but it was such a time of change. That’s probably why I love it. Ideas were burgeoning all over Europe and everyone was touched by them – whether the most remote – such as the Norse Gaels on the Scottish Isles – or the roughest Paris lowlifes. And even if you’re starting a revolution, you have to have lunch. People live their lives – ‘anyway’ not ‘because of… the tides in the affairs of men’. These are largely stories of everyday folk doing the best they can.
But certain individuals of magical quality will always stand out. There will always be heroes and heroines and we will always search for them. That’s how tales of derring-do draw us in.
Any idea to sustain a trilogy must be strong and its story must be told through the eyes of strong characters. Since the Laird Malcolm Craig Lowrie met French Versailles denizen Adelaide de Fontenoy under the evil eye of lawyer Sir William Robinson, it’s certainly been a roller-coaster ride. And I can’t wait to see where we go next.
This mystery of magic has sustained me through a trilogy. My debut novel, The Wolf of Dalriada, came out in 2016 and is available directly through my website, in Ebook form from Amazon or the publishers, Troubador. The second in the trilogy will be available later this year and I am currently writing the third.
About Elizabeth Gates
Between reading English Language & Literature at Bedford College, University of London, and acquiring an MA in Linguistics at the University of Essex, Elizabeth explored Europe as a teacher of English and Creative Writing. Later she worked as a freelance journalist – published for over twenty-five years, in national, regional and local magazines and newspapers, specialising in Public Health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder in the armed forces and suicide among our farmers and the health of foreign seamen trapped on ships held in British ports. Elizabeth’s return to fiction has resulted in The Wolf of Dalriada, her debut novel, published in 2016 and the second in the series, Staining the Soul, will come out later this year.
Click on the links below to purchase a copy of The Wolf of Dalriada
Links to where you can find Elizabeth Gates on Social Media