Author: Jude Knight
Genre: Historical Romance
Farewell to Kindness (On prerelease 2 March 2015, on sale from 1 April 2015)
Price: US99c from 2 March 2015 to 8 April 2015; USD3.49 from 9 April 2015
The man who hunts. Rede believes he has turned his back on compassion and mercy. But he is distracted from the hunt for those who killed his family by his growing attraction for Anne. His feelings for her are a weakness. Or could they instead be a source of strength?
The woman who hides. Anne protected her family from scandal and worse by changing their identity. She must keep Rede from discovering who they are. She cannot give him her heart without trusting him, yet how she trust him when he has closed himself off to love?
And the danger that threatens them both. When their enemies link forces, Rede and Anne must face the past in order to claim the future.
Price: free ebook in multiple formats at all eretailers; USD12.99 in print on Amazon
Cover art created for and owned by Jude Knight
Published: 1 April 2015, publisher: Jude Knight
Page length: 420 pages
ISBN ebook: 978-0-473-31354-8 ASIN: Not yet assigned ISBN print book: 978-0-473-31353-1
Heat: PG13 edging towards R in places
I've always been a storyteller. My mother claim I told stories to my dolls in my play pen before I could talk, babbling away to them as I moved them into different positions. I can remember telling stories with my friends in infant school - 'now you duck, because robbers are shooting at you from up in that tree'. By the time I was seven, if people asked me what I wanted to be, I would say 'a mother and a writer'. I've been blessed to do both.
I started with the aim of writing fiction, and then... life. Four children and high mortgage interest rates sent me looking for a job that paid regularly, and I began a career as a commercial writer. I've continued to write fiction and to tell stories, but mostly for my own children.
2. What inspired you to write this book?
I started writing novels again after the death of my mother. I realised I'd been drifting, always intending to go back to writing novels 'one day'. For decades, I'd been writing down plots as they occured to me. And I'd left it too late to show a finished printed book with my name on the cover to Mum.
I write historical fiction because I love reading it, and because the time period I write about allows me to explore themes that are very relevant today.
And I wrote Farewell to Kindness first because, of the more than 40 story lines I've mapped out in greater or lesser detail, it starts first (in 1801, although the main action takes place between April and June of 1807).
3. Where do you get your ideas?
I get ideas everywhere. People who annoy me finish up as characters in my books. Incidents that touch, interest, or delight me are transformed into parts of stories. In one scene in Farewell to Kindness, the hero gently washes the heroine's hair, feet, and hands after she has been injured. My then fiance (who has been my husband for 44 years) did this for me after I was in a car accident. The circumstances and even the actions are not the same (and the aftermath is certainly not what happened in real life), but the caring is. I was thrilled that he recognised the origins of the passage when he read it a few weeks ago.
Sometimes, as with my free novella, Candle's Christmas Chair, characters I introduce to do something in one story will seem to have a story of their own. Min, the heroine of Candle's Christmas Chair, appeared out of the crowd at an assembly in Farewell to Kindness. I needed someone to diagnose sabotage on an invalid's chair that collapsed while my hero's cousin, an injured soldier, was putting it through a line dance. Min's husband, a Viscount, said proudly that Min had designed and built the chair. I needed to know how a Viscount married a chair maker, and Candle's Christmas Chair turned out to be their story.
4. Are you working on anything else at the moment?
I'm writing Encouraging Prudence, which tells the story of a thief taker (David) and a spy (Prue), and their adventures as they investigate blackmail, murder, and treason. The book is set the same year as Farewell to Kindness, and stars the best friend of Farewell's hero Rede. I'm currently studying coroners' juries to make sure that I get the processes right for a coroner's enquiry that lands Prue in prison.
I'm also researching for the second book in the Golden Redepennings series, A Raging Madness. In A Raging Madness, the hero and heroine escape those chasing them by disguising themselves as canal boat workers. I need to know a lot more about early 19th century canals and canal boats.
5. Who is your favourite author?
I have too many to pick just one! I love everything Ursula Le Guin has written. Terry Pratchett. SM Stirling. Kylie Chan. Catherine Asaro. I also enjoy mysteries: Ellis Peters is a great favourite, and so are Margaret Frazer and Laurie B. King.
In my own genre, Mary Balogh has to be on my top ten list. One of her Slightly books was the first historical romance I'd read in years, and precipitated me into an historical romance glut-fest that in turn led to most of the plots I was recording being historical romance plots. So you could say that she is indirectly responsible for Farewell to Kindness. Then Grace Burrowes - I love how her books interconnect. Stephanie Laurens. Liz Kleypass. Elizabeth Hoyt. Shana Galen. I could go on and on.
I like strong determined heroines, men who can appreciate them, and stories filled with adventure and action. That's what I like to read, and that's what I try to write.
Authors create fictional worlds. Fantasy and sf authors build believable worlds and even universes that are recognisably different to our own. Contemporary fiction authors build worlds that mirror our own and people them with fictional characters. And in the virtual worlds of historical fiction, our groups of characters interact with real historical events and even real people.
Each type of book sets different challenges in world building, but all three only work when the reader is given enough information to understand the context: the laws of physics, the geography of the place, the facts of history. Yet all three need to focus on plot and character, not long discussions about the fascinating details they’ve invented or researched for the book.
Since I write historical fiction, my challenge is to create characters that act as if they belonged in the early 19th century United Kingdom, without boring readers with a history lesson.
One thing I’ve found in historical fiction that I’ve not seen as much in other genres is the passion for creating whole societies, with protagonists from some books appearing as secondary or passing characters in others. Since I love reading this kind of world building, I’m heading down that track myself.
My first novel, Farewell to Kindness, builds a foundation for the Golden Redepennings series, and includes four characters from my first novella, Candle’s Christmas Chair. The Farewell hero’s best friend stars in his own book, my current work in progress Encouraging Prudence, with the mysterious Mist, who has a tiny bit part in Farewell. I also introduce the Duchess of Haverford, who will be a supporting character in many of my books as she has dozens of godchildren and is a leader of Society.
I’ve mapped plots for seven series and a number of stand-alone books, and the Duchess of Haverford skirts around the edges of most of them.
But even for those who set all their novels in the same fictional world, each author’s fictional world sits alone, never touching the fictional worlds of other authors. Until now.
The Bluestocking Belles, as part of the launch of their new website and service for historical romance readers, created a magical inn on a FaceBook events page — a place for characters from all of their own worlds and those of guests.
The result has been an explosion of extempore writing, with the ball passing from author to author, often on several threads at the same time. As one of the founding Bluestocking Belles, I’ve been involved from the first, which has been an interesting add on to my life during the publication of Farewell to Kindness.
Well worth the time, though. World building alone is fun. World building with up to twelve other authors plus assorted guests? Exhilarating, exhausting, and an extremely effective exercise.