So often we hear about a book as it is published, but I want to find out about the process and of the people who helped along the way.
Die for Love by Ellen Read
Why we are featuring this book.
I saw this book advertised on Instagram and loved the cover. It seemed very atmospheric. Plus, I have read two of Ellen Read’s books in the past and know what an enjoyable writer she is.
Hi Ellen, welcome to Norns Triad Publications, please tell me the name of your book and a little about the story?
Die For Love is a ghost story set in England in Claeg, a fictitious village in Dorset close to Corfe Castle. A creepy romance set in two time-streams in which two men meet the same woman and only one of them survives.
When did this story first make itself known to you?
I took the basic idea from a short story I wrote about thirty years ago. It’s very different from the original but the seed of the idea was there.
Roughly, how long did it take to write it, and what was your process after your first draft?
It took two months to write the first two drafts. After the first draft, I like to go straight into a second draft, and then I let it rest for a while. When I went back to it, I did more of a read-through, because I was happy with it after the second draft, but I like to go back to it and tidy the story up a bit more. So, approximately three months in total.
Did you have to do any research? Tell us a little about that.
I’m Australian but I’ve been to England and my husband was born in the West Country, so I knew the area. I invented Claeg, a fictitious village in Dorset close to Corfe Castle. Because of this proximity to Corfe Castle, I’ve borrowed Corfe Castle’s history of clay making. I researched clay making, although that was for background. I read that the name ‘Corfe’ is derived from the Saxon word, ceorfan, meaning to cut or carve, referring to the gap in the Purbeck hills where Corfe Castle is situated. Then, I found that claeg comes from the Old English, meaning clay cutter. So, that gave me the name for my village. I also did some research about castles, as I had to decide what type of castle to have. I read about Riber Castle, a 19th Century country house in the hamlet of Riber on a hill overlooking Matlock, Derbyshire, and its difficulty of getting water to the hill summit. I used the idea of not being able to get water to the hilltop for Marston Castle. It too, was built by an industrialist named John Smedley in 1862 as his private home.
Who are your main characters? Tell about them.
Edward Wallingford, an artist, goes on a solitary walking tour of the West Country in 1935. To recuperate from pneumonia, he wants to walk, paint and enjoy the countryside. When he stops at Claeg, he visits Marston Castle on the outskirts of the town. He becomes fascinated by Rose Marston, who owns and lives in their family’s castle with her two sisters.
William Wallingford is the great-great nephew of Edward. William has always heard tales that Edward had disappeared. When Will’s mother discovers a letter written in Edward’s hand telling his family that he was in Claeg and intended to stay at the castle, both Will and his mother are intrigued. William, a professional photographer, has some free time between assignments and is determined to discover what happened to his Uncle Edward. Why, when he went missing, could no one find any trace of him?
Natalie Charlton and her father own the Clay Cutters Arms, where William stays. She’s had a failed marriage and isn’t interested in men until she meets William.
Then there are the Marston sisters who live at Marston Castle. Rose wants someone to love her. Emily lives in a dream world, while Adelaide, the eldest, is in charge.
Once your story is complete, you sent it to your editor. Tell me about them and how they enhanced your story?
I used Sally Odgers, who lives in Australia. Sally picked up on some copy edit things, punctuation, and spelling typos. I think it’s important to have an editor look at my work.
Now tell me about the formatting, who does that, and how did you decide on your book cover?
The team at Platform house Publishing in the UK formatted the book for me and designed the fabulous cover. They are wonderful to work with and I’d definitely recommend them.
From the time of conception until Die For Love was published, how long did that take?
It took roughly a year from the beginning of developing the story to publication.
Why do you think readers will like this book?
I think readers will enjoy Die For Love because it moves at a good pace, and although it’s written over two timelines, the chapters are short. It’s a ghost story but not too scary. A creepy romance.
Thank you for allowing us to learn more about your book and about you. This looks to be an exciting read, and I already have my copy. It will eventually be reviewed over on the Magic of Stories website, and linked to this interview. I have also been to Corfe Castle and it is a beautiful place.
Lastly, please tell us about your hometown or city. Apart from being famous for having such a talented author living there, what else is it famous for?
I live in Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland. I’m more in greater Brisbane in the Moreton Bay area. I’m not too far from central Brisbane with its galleries and restaurants, but I’m also close to the beaches. The climate is sub-tropical, so we have temperate weather all year round. I also live close to Redcliffe whose most famous sons were the Bee Gees. The family moved to Redcliffe, Australia, after moving from England.
What happened to Edward Wallingford? His great-great-nephew William is determined to find out.
Edward Wallingford, an artist, is on a solitary walking tour of the West Country. To recuperate from pneumonia, he wants to walk, paint and enjoy the countryside. When he stops at Claeg, a village in Dorset, he visits Marston Castle on the outskirts of the town. He becomes fascinated by Rose Marston, who owns and lives in their family’s castle with her two sisters.
England Present Day.
William Wallingford has always heard tales of his great-great-uncle Edward who disappeared on his walking tour in 1935. When Will’s mother discovers a letter written in Edward’s hand telling his family that he was in Claeg and intended to stay at the castle, both Will and his mother are intrigued.
William, a professional photographer, has some free time between assignments, and determines to discover what happened to Uncle Edward. Why, when he went missing, could no one find any trace of him?
Will travels to Claeg and stays at the Clay Cutters Arms where he meets the owners, Natalie Pickering, and her father.
Will soon hears local rumours that young men visiting Claeg disappear from time to time.
With Natalie’s help, Will meets a local witch, uncovers an unbelievable truth, and nearly dies for love.
Link with the Author
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