Good News from Choc Lit

Back in 2014 I started writing a historical novel based in The Potteries (Staffordshire) where I grew up. Stoke on Trent was the hub of the pottery industry from the early eighteenth century and most people don’t know that there was also a big mining industry and steel works that employed thousands of people.

IMG_1248

Gladstone pottery museum- still a working pottery

As with most industrial towns there was massive poverty mingled in with huge riches, and that was what interested me: a poor working class girl falling in love with a rich industrialist’s son, who wanted to be a doctor and help the poor – against his mother’s wishes. The plot came to me in a moment of inspiration, but I quickly realised I knew very little about the early Edwardian times and subsequently most of my paragraphs had huge gaps where I needed to add research. Cobbled stones or cinder strewn pathways, clogs or boots? Did the poorer classes even have proper stoves or inside toilets? I knew nothing – but that didn’t stop me rattling along, enjoying Maddie and Daniel’s journey, trying to do them proud by making them interesting, rounded people.

.

IMG_1284.JPG

Inside the bottle kiln where the temperatures would be fired up to1250C

So, I finished my story and started to research the area where I was born: Stoke on Trent. I visited the Hanley museum and the Burslem working pottery and found myself immersed in the history of my ancestors. I even found a plaque with our surname on, which depressed me a bit as I would rather have been the Viking descendent mum always said I was. King Ragnor Brunt of Stoke on Trent doesn’t have quite the right ring to it, does it? Hmm.

IMG_1249.JPG

Dad’s surname was Brunt so maybe mum did descend from the Vikings! Bless!

Anyway, I then put the novel, (called Set In Stone) to one side and started another one. (which is normal for me – my hard drive is littered with characters who didn’t come up to muster) I came across the novel again last year, and on a whim started reading it, just to see if my writing had improved since then. Well, do you know, I stayed awake all night, I was so engrossed. I’d forgotten so much of it that it was like reading someone else’s book.

It needed a fair bit of editing but I was so excited that I started kicking it into shape straight away. When I’d finished, Margaret Kaine, who is a fabulous Potteries writer, kindly read it through, as did Sharon Booth whose work I love and the verdict was very positive.

Moving swiftly on, I had an in depth conversation with an agent who was very interested in the novel but wanted it to be more of a saga, which really wasn’t me, and deep down I hoped Choc Lit would love it for the romance I wanted it to be. I was sitting on my hands, itching to send a follow up email when the requisite three months from submission had passed, when finally an email from Choc Lit popped into my inbox.

Hurrah it was good news!

I had a good old chat with the lovely Lyn Vernham from Choc Lit and ta-da, the deal is done. The Potter’s Daughter will be published by Choc Lit next year. I’m looking forward to being welcomed into the lovely Choc Lit gang, many of whom I already know. (I have been stalking Choc Lit for a long time now. My novel, Air Guitar and Caviar was shortlisted in their Search for  a Star competition)

I’m already researching the music halls of the era for a follow up novel, but fear there may be quite a few blank spaces! I know nothing – did I already say that? But I will – by the time I’ve finished the next novel, I’ll be a bloody expert, but if anyone wants to help, I’d be very grateful!

Flat Lay - Book .jpg

 

 

Advertisements

About Jackie Ladbury

Writer of romance novels. One-tenth of the Write Romantics. Air Guitar and Caviar and The Magic of Stars out now. getBook.at/Ladbury getBook.at/Jackie The Potter's Daughter to be published by Choc Lit in 2019
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Good News from Choc Lit

  1. sharon says:

    So pleased for you, Jackie. I loved this book and I’m really happy it’s found a good home! Xx

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s