Book Club

PUBLISHED: 11:50 28 October 2014 | UPDATED: 11:50 28 October 2014




Jane Lambert takes us on a tour of literary Essex with a look at the latest works by the county’s authors

Q&A with Stephanie Boddy

Stephanie Boddy is a paranormal author from Little Dunmow.

What made you want to be a writer?

Pet Cemetery. It’s as simple as that. I read it when I was about eight years old. I hardly understood half of the language used, but I was utterly mesmerised by the power of the written language. I think that writers are in a world of their own – I believe that in most cases, writers are born writers; many try and fail only because they give up.

Do you think being from Essex informs your writing?

I have written two paranormal novels (the second, It Found Me was released on October 1) and both have been based in Essex. They are true ghost stories, so I have kept everything local and close to my heart. I have started my third novel which is also located around Essex. I always write what I know, I think many horror writers feel comfortable doing this as it allows them to concentrate on the themes within the writing. Writing doesn’t just have to hold the attention of the reader, it has to interest the writer too.

Who are your favourite writers?

The great Stephen King has been my inspiration for as long as I can remember. Along with my family’s history in the paranormal, it was King’s stories and talent that encouraged me to write the first sentence of my first novel, The House on Poultney Road. I read a lot and try not to stick to one genre, (although I am passionate about horror, I try to paddle in the waters of thrillers, comedy and adventure to prevent my recurring nightmares!) Susan Hill, James Herbert, Sophie Kinsella, Sibel Hodge, and of course, the great Edgar Allan Poe are other influences.

To Fear With Love by Helen-Jane Rose

Helen-Jane Rose grew up in Loughton and now lives in Epping Green, a

few miles outside of Epping. To Fear WIth Love is her debut novel.

To Fear With Love is a powerful debut from Helen-Jane Rose. It tells the story of Alice, who, on the surface appears to have it all, but behind closed doors experiences abuse and suffering.

This is an inspirational story, as Alice’s story is ultimately one of healing, courage and determination. The writing is wonderful, allowing the reader to become completely immersed in Alice’s world and giving women who face such adversity a powerful voice.

Publisher: Roundfire Books

Release Date: August 2014

Price: £9.99 (Paperback)

ISBN: 9781782795810

The Poppy Factory by Liz Trenow

Liz Trenow is a former journalist from Colchester. The Poppy Factory is her third novel.

In the centenary year of the beginning of World War I, many books have arrived telling the stories of those who fought, and those who stayed behind. While non-fiction books give the facts of history, reading a novel about a particular era gives many people the chance to discover things they may never have considered, and The Poppy Factory exemplifies this.

Employing a dual narrative, we hear the stories of two young women, connected not just by family, but by their experiences of war. Jess is a military medic, recently off the frontline in Afghanistan, and struggling to cope with life as a civilian. 100 years earlier, her great-grandmother was experiencing similar struggles, as she tried to welcome her husband home from the trenches. Trenow has a talent for interweaving stories from the present and future, and allowing her characters to learn from the experiences of their ancestors. The Poppy Factory is a wonderful novel.

Publisher: Avon

Release Date: August 2014

Price: £7.99

ISBN: 9780007510481

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