About Me

 I'm a very private person and my "public life" is my "writer life" present tense and no comment on my writer past, which involved magazine and TV notoriety and radio interviews in reference to previous published novels. Hence new pseudonym and rebuilding of author platform.  

Therefore, my present writing life is what I'm happy to talk about. A lot of people have asked me why I'm self-publishing historical novels and novellas, and why have I not subbed them to publishers? Well the simple answer is, under my new nom de plume I did submit one historical three years back, and the process was so damn long I thought they'd forgotten about me or just hadn't had the decency to say yes or no. Plus I didn't much like their selection process: anonymous reader panel as opposed to known editors. I'm used to dealing direct with editors, and old habits die hard! I suddenly thought to hell with subbing to publishers, Amazon is there, why not utilise it in getting my books to readers.         

I write contemporary romantic suspense, historical murder mysteries and sensual historical romances. I have eclectic reading tastes, but history has always been my greatest love in terms of educational subject matter (since old enough to read), and historical novels became my life-blood in terms of entertainment value. My other great passion is that of art galleries, in particular portrait galleries and portraits became the catalyst to the penning of novels.    

Do you not agree the two images below are stark in contrast: one historical the other contemporary. Yet both are women and facing away from the artist, and my first thoughts on seeing both was who are they? What are they thinking? 

In the first we can imagine wealth Vs poverty, but is the grandly dressed lady grand by title or grand by some other means? Is her gesture one of giving more than she's actually offered in return? Is there a motive beyond that of paying for something she wants, and did a memory trigger her response to the woman selling a few wares.  From this image stepped the character Therese, in Venetian Encounter.  

In the second image, do you not feel sense of loss, of loneliness and longing emanating from the girl depicted? I did, and this image inspired a contemporary novel Stalker in Paradise in which Tara's story reveals terrible heartache from loss and fear induced by a stalker, yet has a happy ending. 

So there it is, my writer profile: images are my main inspiration.

That said,  a painting, wind whispering through trees, droplet of rain, snowflake on eyelashes: all can stir my imagination!

I WAS BORN just outside the smallest city in England, UK. It’s a relatively famous Medieval/Georgian town, which oozes history and myth. So what’s its name? WELLS! The title speaks for itself, as in water abounds.

I used to regularly walk the cloisters

The Chapter House Steps

As a kid and adult I fed the swans!

Wells is famed for its Cathedral, Bishop’s Palace with moat, beautiful medieval and Georgian buildings, and swans trained to ring a bell when in need of food. Hence the pictures depict the cathedral, the palace moat, the swans and the town square.

The square, the archway, the cathedral and palace moat feature in my historical novel "Infamous Rival".

I GREW UP In Wells: loved the place, loved my home county of Somerset, in particular Exmoor and Lorna Doone country, but ended up living in many places thereafter: Oxford Cotswolds, Wiltshire, Isle of Wight and Jersey. But because I love Exmoor, I decided to use it as a backdrop to a Romantic Regency Murder Mystery - The Reluctant Duchess. Some might think the cover image TRD fails to depict the Regency era. But it does, because night attire had long sleeves, and women often wore sleeveless robes that were quite unlike the fashionable style of a high-waist pelisse.      . 


But getting back to moi - my favourite home was: Well, I have two favourites, really: where I was born, 

and a rather nice house in the Cotswolds. Hence inglenook fireplaces and stone carved over mantels, not to mention cellars etc., have featured throughout my life.

No wonder then all the above feature in my novels

Like the queen, when nippy a headscarf beneath hard hat!
 My love and knowledge of horses and carriages has proved invaluable for penning historical novels, but horses are prone to feature in the contemporary novels as well.

TODAY I LIVE IN: Pembrokeshire, Wales UK, with hubby No2: a man to die for! Pics of part of my garden...

Temporary string fences due to dog-sitting of daughter's dog. Unlike mine he has no respect for gardens.

Middle Paddock - hay making time.

Bottom meadow - river in the trees

Very own witches wood - can be quite spooky: so I've been told.

Dinner plate alongside! 


Places not far from my house. 

Carew Castle

Pembroke Castle - Henry VII was born here.

Roch (e) Castle - one of Charles II mistresses lived here.

And of course Charles Prince of Wales (later Charles II) features when but a teenage soldier in By Loyalty Divided

PROUDEST WRITER MOMENT:  first publication back in 1994 with Masquerade New York.

RANDOM FACT ABOUT ME:  I once had shares in a publishing company, owned an equestrian business and now review books for a famous magazine. So why am I self-publishing historical romance novel/las? Simply because Amazon is leading the field in book outlet terms and I wanted to see how well historical romance novels might sell with no backup from a publsher. 

To see a list of my historical novels, they are here.


Pauline Barclay said...

An inspirational post and I loved the pictures, they evoke some many thoughts and words. Also congrats on your new post at Romantic Fiction's new emagazine, hope we hear more about it.

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Pauline,

Thanks for stopping by.

I think everyone is waiting on Romantic Fiction's new e-magazine! No easy task getting a publication, as we all know! ;)


Betty Alark said...

Hi, Francine!

It' nice to meet you and to aquaint myself with your blog!

Thank you so much for following me! Your blog is so beautiful!

I think the two pictures are captivating! Titiles also captivate me; infact titles speak and ultimately are what draws me into a book!

You have an interesting history, Francine!

I am now your follower!

You seem like you might like poetry! If so stop over and visit my poetry blog as well


Nice to meet you , Francine!

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Betty,

Thanks for stopping by! It's lovely getting know new/old bloggers... ;)

Yes, I do love poetry, so will stop by and take a peek at your poetry blog.


Eileen Schuh: said...

What a great career you've had, Francine. Congratulations on all your successes.

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Eileen,

Thanks for stopping by! ;)


Sarah Jhirad said...

Hello Francine,
Very nicely designed site - I love the pics and captions.Best wishes, Serena Fairfax

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Sarah, (Serena)

Thanks for stopping by. I've recently posted a review for Where the Bulbul Sings on the FFP blog! I'm going to post it here as well. ;)


timvicary said...

Very beautiful pictures Francine. Very enjoyable to browse through. Interesting to hear about your reasons for self-publishing; very similar to my own. I call Amazon the Big Friendly Giant!

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Tim,

Thanks for stopping by. Exactly, Amazon has the clout, and if authors keep their feet solid to ground they'll enjoy both the highs and lows of Indie publishing!


Lindsay said...

Great post and I can agree with you on self publishing even though I have regencies with 2 different ePublishers.
Love the photos

David W. Wilkin said...

Great to get to know you this way.

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Thank you for stopping by the blog, Lindsay. I too have a contemporary lodged with an e-publisher. It was not a hugely enticing agreement by any means. Nonetheless, the royalties the first year of publication turned out far better than expected. But if one has to do the marketing one might just as well do the whole jobby, and I love playing around with artwork as well as creating worlds within time periods.


Francine Howarth: UK said...

Thank you for dropping by, David. There are always elements in people's makeup one never gets to see or hear of, and some of the images are a little on the small side: purposefully, I might add.. ;)