I'm delighted to welcome my guest today, author Pam Lecky:
I asked her:
Where did the story for The Bowes Inheritance come from - is it based on real events? The original premise was a young woman inheriting a property and having to fight to keep it. It had a beginning, a middle and an end (always a good thing!), but there was no flesh to its bones. I had discovered some family links to Carlisle and I wanted a coastal location for my story so Cumbria seemed perfect. I knew I wanted it to have an Irish flavour, but with a new angle perhaps. I have always been fascinated by the complex relationship between the Irish Ascendency and their British counterparts and that, and a wrangle over land, seemed a good place to start. It was only as I started to research, that the story took on a life of its own. Sub-plots popped up, in particular the Fenian bombing campaign that was raging at the time, so the story was influenced by real events that I read about from old newspapers, books and on-line blogs. What started out primarily as a love story became tangled up in Irish history and politics, Fenians and the English Lake District!
What attracts you particularly to the 19thc? There were a lot of influences in my childhood and the earliest one that I can remember was television. Historical dramas in particular caught my attention, even though at that young age I didn’t really understand the stories. Ah but the costumes, the architecture and the way people behaved – something clicked. My father was a great reader and encouraged me to be as well; as a child and a teen I devoured books and I mean devoured. Then Dad bought me the complete works of Jane Austen and a foundation was laid. For those familiar with the 19th century world, I think I actually became a bluestocking! I munched my way through classics, dined on crime (modern and historical - Dorothy L. Sayers and P.D. James my absolute favourites – what fantastically twisty minds those women had), and supped at the feet of Georgette Heyer’s heroes and heroines. The Victorian era, in particular fascinates me because of the rate of change in every sphere of life. They had such a different outlook on life and that fascinates me as a writer. The Bowes Inheritance is your debut novel - do you have any more books in the pipeline? I am currently deep in research for my next book, The Carver Affair (working title, may change). It is set slightly later and entirely in Ireland. This story is a lot darker and grittier with more emphasis on the crime element than in The Bowes Inheritance. What do you do when you are not writing? These days most of my spare time is spent on marketing and promotion of my book. Social media seems to take up far more of my time than I’d like. I work part-time and have a busy family life but I try to read and listen to music, both for inspiration and as a way to relax. Contemporary writing from the period I write in, helps me get into the right mind-set for when I do get the time to write so I tend to read a lot of historical fiction (romantic and crime) and biography. You live in Dublin - did you travel to the Lake District for your research? Can you tell us a little about that? Unfortunately I didn’t have the opportunity to visit in person (thank heaven for google maps and street view!). The main location of the story is fictional (Newton) but I based it on several coastal towns in Cumbria. I was fortunate enough to find a photo story someone had posted for a climb of Haystacks Mountain which features in the story. I do plan to visit this summer and hopefully get to actually climb it (if my nerve holds!). Lake Buttermere is hugely inspirational as a location and seemed a fitting location for the romantic climax of the story.
Is there one particular character (real or fictitious) from the 19thc that you would like to meet? I would love to meet Oscar Wilde or perhaps shadow Mr. Dickens for a week. Their lives were often as interesting (sometimes more so) than their fiction.
Thank you so much for talking to me about your writing, Pam
And buy her book HERE