Stolen Passion, the first ever ebook exclusive short story from bestselling saga author Catherine King is published today. Judging by the fantastic responses we got to our pre-publication announcement, we aren't the only ones excited!
A heart-rending tale of class divides and a passionate love affair that is determined to survive against all odds, set against the backdrop of 1800s Yorkshire, Stolen Passion is the must-read saga short for existing fans of Catherine King, readers of historical sagas and those wanting to give the genre a try for the very first time.
To whet your appetite why not enjoy this exclusive guest post from author, Catherine King, on writing her first ever mini saga.
You can order your copy of Stolen Passion for just 99p from Amazon and iTunes now! To find out more about the author visit her website or follow her on Twitter. You can also read a first chapter extract from the short story online.
Stealing Time for Stolen Passion by Catherine King
When my editor asked me write a short story to publish as an ebook I had started to write my next novel and didn’t want to be distracted. Also my story ideas were usually novel-length ones and finding an idea for a short story, for me, was difficult. However, I had invented numerous characters in my books and some had stories to tell outside the novel they inhabited. I had thought, often, of writing one of these stories and my editor had presented me with a perfect opportunity.
Ellen is a minor but important character in my early twentieth century novel The Secret Daughter. I had the back story of her life before the book opens already sketched out in my preparation for that novel. As those late nineteenth century years were not included in the book I took a closer look and realised that a turning point in Ellen’s life took place in 1897, the year of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. As I write this it is 2012, our own Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee year, and it seemed fitting that I should write a story including some of the equivalent Victorian celebrations. The more I thought about this, the more I knew I had to tell Ellen’s story from when she arrived as an ambitious young parlour maid at Redfern Abbey in Yorkshire. My current novel was moved to one side and I embarked on Stolen Passion.
Formerly, I had expressed doubts at my editor’s suggestion of writing ten thousand words, thinking that was very long for a short story. But when I began writing, being a novelist, I found that I was soon on my way to a mini-novella and, eventually, exceeded my editor’s guidance by several thousand words. As well as Ellen, there were other characters in The Secret Daughter who, I realised as I wrote, had had an influence in her early years as a maid on the country estate of Lord Redfern.
I had invented The Earl of Redfern and Redfern Abbey for a previous novel, The Lost and Found Girl. It was inspired by Wentworth Woodhouse in South Yorkshire and I imagined it at its best with a large number of indoor and outdoor servants. Sadly, much of Wentworth Woodhouse is now derelict but there are exciting plans for restoration, which I am delighted about.
I am interested in the lives of both the aristocracy and their servants at the meeting of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The industrial revolution and its appetite for coal had made huge wealth for the families that owned the coalfields in Yorkshire and they were able to fund lavish lifestyles, giving employment to many. Large estates had a steward to manage them who employed a butler and a housekeeper to supervise the indoor servants. Outdoors, gamekeepers looked after deer running free in deer parks and raised pheasant and partridge, or grouse if they had moorland, for shooting parties. Railways were spreading across the country and the motor car was being developed but had not yet taken over from horses for individual and local transport. It was a time of great social change where boundaries were blurring between master and servant.
Or were they? Stolen Passion is the story of two young people who fall in love across such a boundary and how they cope with the consequences. I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
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