Today is my stop on the The Rufford Rose blog tour and I am pleased to welcome Margaret Lambert on to the blog with a quick interview! She’s come up with some fascinating answers!
What is your favourite thing about writing books?
Being able to use my imagination to create another world and people it with interesting and diverse characters. I can easily lose myself in places and situations as I follow their story.
Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
Cuthbert is my favourite character. He is a young man who was orphaned at an early age but was lucky enough to be adopted by a childless couple who reared him as their son, training him as an apprentice in the trade his father had worked in, a carpenter and wood carver. His exceptional ability was recognised and nurtured until he was able to go out in the world and use it. Despite his talent he is modest about it whilst recognising its importance. He is not afraid of hard work even if he is not doing the wood carving he adores. He stands up for what he sees is right, perseveres in adversity and tries to understand and forgive those who try to prevent him succeeding in his chosen life. Loyal to his friends he is grateful to them for their support when his life is made difficult for him by Abel and Will. As he falls in love with Jennet he reveals a gentler, softer side to his character as she becomes the most important person in his life.
What is your favourite drink to consume while writing?
Don’t usually drink anything but it is most likely to be sparkling water when I do.
Do you have any bad habits while you’re writing?
Not that I am aware of!
How do you research your books?
Lots of reading in the period involved, i.e. Tudor at the moment. Visiting Tudor properties to see what they are like, how they are built, furnished, laid out, what people wore, ate, what their entertainment was, what was going on in the wider world at the relevant time. In this case I paid close attention to major refurbishment of Rufford Hall over the last two years and was able to chat to the specialist craftsmen involved to discover materials and tools used originally. As a conservation assistant at the hall I had access to attics and cellars which are out of bounds to visitors and could handle artifacts normally held in storage. I was even able to experience the cold of winter and the heat of summer in an unheated, un-double-glazed building, very authentic!
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Mostly a plotter with a clear plan of where I want the story to go, what events I want to include, who is involved, their interactions with each other. Occasionally ideas come to me as I write, a conversation or a situation develops which I had not originally thought of and I let it roll. Some of the best scenes develop like that as I ‘live it’ through their eyes.
If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose and why?
Very difficult question. It would have to be in an historical period. The Victorian era is tempting, so much was going on with the development of industry, science, exploration, invention, social history, growth of towns and factories. It opens up so many possibilities depending whether you were rich or poor, male or female. Personally I would choose a middle class family as there were more chances for someone who was educated and had some money behind them.
If you could befriend any fictional character, who would you choose and why?
Miss Jane Marple. A complex character, very clever but modest about her abilities, has a questioning mind and observes people closely, always having a comparison with someone in the village to refer to in her problem solving. She is kind and understanding with a great ability to watch and listen then work out the truth. She would have so many stories to tell of her apparently quiet life but in which she has had so many gentle adventures. She earns the respect of the most doubting police officers who merely see an elderly, interfering lady. With a life time of experience to draw on she is never at a loss to find a solution and has tremendous patience in her pursuit of the truth.
About the book
When gifted young woodcarver Cuthbert Watts is sent to assist in the building of a new hall in Lancashire in 1530 little does he realise what difficulties lie ahead. The Master builder, Abel, resents his presence, refusing to see his work whilst Abel’s apprentice, Will is a lazy, jealous young man who thwarts Cuthbert at every turn. Supported by his fellow workers Cuthbert perseveres and after saving his life, befriends the young son of the owner, another reason for Abel to hate him. What is the reason behind this animosity? What great secret dominates Abel and Will’s life to the extent that lives are threatened, jealousies grow and violence, arson, kidnap and murder are committed?
Set in the Lancashire countryside in the 16th century this is a story which combines the practical difficulties of building a Tudor Hall with the loves and jealousies of those involved. When will Abel realise the value of Cuthbert’s work, when will Will realise he is notwho he believes he is and can Cuthbert win the heartof the girl he loves. Follow Cuthbert through the trials and challenges of his new life and discover whether the hall can finally be completed.
About the Author
Margaret Lambert has always lived in Preston, Lancashire. Married with two grown-up sons, she trained as a Geography teacher but also taught History and Religious studies in secondary schools. A member of the National Trust for nearly fifty years, Lambert has volunteered as a guide and conservationist at Rufford Old Hall for the past thirteen years, during which time it has been extensively renovated.
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I'm just a twenty-something year old girl who has a passion for everything related to books, films and writing. I'm a part-time librarian, sharing my love of books and films with the world. I'm from the UK and love everything about the country. If you want to know more about me, feel free to follow me on twitter, add me on Facebook or e-mail me! :-)