Lexie Conyngham's Blog: writing, history and gardening.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Finally - Hippolyta Napier is published!

The moment is here at last! thank goodness. A Knife in Darkness, set in Ballater in 1829, and Death of a False Physician, set in Ballater in 1830 are out today, and as we speak I'm preparing for an actual live signing in Ballater this evening (terrifying!).

The profits from A Knife in Darkness are going to the Ballater Flood Fund, administered by Rev. David Barr of the Church of Scotland and Rev. Vittoria Hancock of the Scottish Episcopal Church, so please buy! 2015 was not the first time Ballater and Deeside were badly affected by flooding: the Dee looks like a calm, beautiful river, but it can rise swiftly and appallingly, and has done with devastating effect in the past.

Here are the details: A Knife in Darkness

The distant Scottish spa town of Ballater seems a world away from the stylish and familiar streets of Georgian Edinburgh, but recently married Hippolyta Napier is making a new life amidst its dark woods and pure, flowing waters. But suspicion, intrigue and death await both inside and outside her new home, and the forces of nature take few prisoners. 

Here's the Amazon link: others to follow.

Now for Death of a False Physician:

The dreadful day is approaching for the Napiers in Ballater: Hippolyta Napier’s mother is coming to stay.
But Mrs. Fettes  is not just in Aberdeenshire to visit her youngest daughter: she  has other reasons, and one will draw the whole family in, with deadly results.

Again, an Amazon link!

I've been doing a good deal of reading for these, moving forward in time from Murray's Georgian and Regency Scotland to the brink of the Victorian period. It means a move from the rational to the romantic, from slimline Empire fashions a la Jane Austen to this kind of thing:

Image result for 1830 fashion
and a whole step forward in science and technology. I'm hoping Hippolyta will go on to see the foundation of Victorian Royal Deeside, the coming of the railways, maybe even bicycles! Take a look at my Pinterest boards for some more images that have helped inspire Hippolyta and those around her.

Hippolyta, bless her, complete with her inability to meet an animal she doesn't want to adopt, popped into my head almost fully formed, though some of the other characters have been a little harder to discover. Setting the books in Ballater has given a more grounded feel to this series, as well as an excuse to get to know the lovely town and its history a little better - which of course means refuelling at Deeside Confectionery, and the Bothy, and Bean for Coffee.It could all throw the New Year diet badly! And once Deeside Books re-opens after the flood damage, my bank account is doomed.

The signing this evening takes place in the Victoria and Albert Halls, Ballater, which acted as the central shelter during the floods last year. It's directly opposite Ballater's other current disaster site, the old Victorian railway station which up to summer 2015 housed a lovely little museum about Royal Deeside - and then was destroyed in an accidental fire. When the floods followed, it looked like the unluckiest town in the North East by the end of 2015. But it keeps fighting back!

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