Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the two hundred and fifty-first, is of contemporary historical romance novelist Hannah Fielding. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/author-spotlights.
Hannah Fielding is a novelist, a dreamer, a traveller, a mother, a wife and an incurable romantic. The seeds for her writing career were sown in early childhood, spent in Egypt, when she came to an agreement with her governess Zula: for each fairy story Zula told, Hannah would invent and relate one of her own.
Years later – following a degree in French literature, several years of travelling in Europe, falling in love with an Englishman, the arrival of two beautiful children and a career in property development – Hannah decided after so many years of yearning to write that the time was now.
Today, she lives the dream: she writes full-time, splitting her time between her homes in Kent, England, and the South of France, where she dreams up romances overlooking breath-taking views of the Mediterranean.
And now from the author herself:
Stories and writing have always been part of my life. My father was a great raconteur and my governess used to tell the most fabulous fairy stories – I could listen to them for hours. When I was seven she and I came to an agreement: for every story she’d tell me I would invent one in return. That is how my passion for storytelling began.
At school I consistently received first prize for my essays and my teachers often read them aloud in class. As a teenager I used to write short romantic stories during lessons and circulate them in class, which made me very popular with my peers (but less so with the nuns!). In addition, since a young age I have kept some sort of a diary where I note my feelings, ideas and things that take my fancy (or not).
My grandmother was a published author of poetry and my father published a book about the history of our family, so writing runs in my veins. I guess I always knew that one day I would follow in those footsteps and forge my own path in that field – a subconscious dream which finally came true with the publication of my debut novel, Burning Embers.
Burning Embers, published by Omnific Publishing, is a contemporary historical romance novel set in Kenya in 1970. It is an evocative and passionate story of coming of age, of letting go of the past, of having faith in a person and of overcoming obstacles to love, set against the vivid and colourful backdrop of rural Africa and its culture. It’s been called by one newspaper ‘epic romance like Hollywood used to make’.
Burning Embers began not as a story, but as a vivid landscape in my mind. The seed of the ideas was sown many years ago when, as a schoolgirl, I studied the works of Leconte de Lisle, a French Romantic poet of the 19th century. His poems are wonderfully descriptive and vivid – about wild animals, magnificent dawns and sunsets, exotic settings and colourful vistas (see http://www.hannahfielding.net/?cat=7 for translations). Then, later on, I went on holiday to Kenya with my parents and I met our family friend Mr Chiumbo Wangai, who often used to visit us. He was a great raconteur and told me extensively about his beautiful country, its tribes, its traditions and its customs. I was enthralled. His ability to describe the many facets of his country and his people endeared Kenya to my heart long before I set foot in it.
Later, once I had visited the country myself, I put pen to paper and Burning Embers came to life. Burning Embers had to be written; there was too much about the place and its people that I felt passionate about.
People often ask me about the time and setting of my novel. Quite simply, I write what I know. I grew up in a rambling house in Alexandria, Egypt, and my bedroom windows overlooked the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. I could see up to the harbour. At any time of day when I looked out of my windows, there was beauty in the scenery. That is where I first experienced the blazing dawns and sunsets, the brilliant azure sky and the ever-changing colours of the sea – silver under the moonlight, almost purple and orange in the early morning or the evening, deep blue in autumn, angry grey in winter and almost turquoise in the spring and summer. Now, my plots are set in warm countries: such vivacious, passionate people, fascinating cultures and wonderful, breath-taking vistas. It is what I know best, what touches me most, so I situate my stories in places that bring warmth to my heart.
Since writing Burning Embers, I have written a number of books which will publish soon, and I have been travelling extensively, searching for new pastures in which to set my future novels.
I have written a passionate, fiery trilogy set in Andalucía, Spain, spanning three generations of a Spanish / English family, from 1950 to the present day.
I have also just finished writing a touching, deeply romantic novel that takes place in Venice and in Tuscany, Italy in 1979 / 1980. It opens with the Venice Carnival that has returned after a cessation of almost two centuries.
Greece is also on the map for a new Hannah Fielding romantic novel. I am now in the process of researching and planning a very dramatic and steamy love story that takes place on one of the many Greek Islands. I chose Greece because I know that captivating country and its people well – I have good Greek friends. I bought my wedding dress in Athens and my husband and I honeymooned on Rhodes Island. Greek mythology was part of the literature course I read at university and Greece is not far from Alexandria where I grew up.
I still have numerous books in me and I intend to write a historical romance trilogy, which will be set in Egypt and will take my readers from the 1940s to the present day.
I so enjoy researching these books (what better excuse to visit Venice), and they are in the pipeline for publication in due course. I very much enjoy the publishing process and hearing from readers of my books. But for me, being a writer is not about publishing. It is simply about writing – writing from the heart the books that I most want to read. As the Toni Morrison said, ‘If there’s a book you want to read and it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.’
You can find more about Hannah and her writing via…
- Website: www.hannahfielding.net
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/fieldinghannah
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/fieldinghannah
- Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5333898.Hannah_Fielding
- WH Smith
- Barnes & Noble
If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/submission-information/opportunities-on-this-blog (the spotlights are option (a)) or email me for details.
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