Thursday, November 3, 2011

Interview: Barbara Gaskell Denvil, author of Fair Weather

Author bio: “BARBARA GASKELL DENVIL, the author of FAIR WEATHER (available on all e.books and Amazon’s Kindle store etc..) has been a writer all her life.

Born in Gloucestershire, England, she soon moved to London and starting as a literary critic for BOOKS & BOOKMEN , quickly built up a career publishing numerous short stories and articles.
She then spent many hot and colourful years sailing the Mediterranean on a yacht and living in various different countries throughout the region.

When her partner died, she moved to rural Australia where she still lives amongst the parrots and wallabies, writing full time before contemplating an eventual return to England.
Her first finished novel, FAIR WEATHER, is a fantasy set in England in the 1200s. Her love of medieval history subsequently led her to write historical and crime novels set in the late 1400s and early Tudor period.

FAIR WEATHER has been published to considerable success purely on the electronic system – soon to be followed by her second book – SATIN CINNABAR. No fantasy this time, the story is an adventure set against accurate historical fact, but including all the mystery and romance for which she is well known.”

What inspires your stories?

I’m inspired by life. The hard thing is to stop the inspiration getting in the way of the writing.

What genre do you gravitate toward and why?

My two literary loves are historical adventure and fantasy. My first novel combines them both, being set in 1204, but it’s a fantasy – whereas my next two books are straightforward historical mystery/crime/romance set in England in the latter half of the 15th century. These will be SATIN CINNABAR – due out in about a month – and SUMERFORD’S AUTUMN due out next year.

What are your work habits like?

I’m retired and live in semi-rural isolation, so I’m able to write most of the day, most of the week. I squash in housework only when the words temporarily dry up.

What do you consider your best work?

I have a particular fondness for my first finished novel, FAIR WEATHER (recently published) – part history, part fantasy. But apart from that my best work seems to be whatever I’m writing at the moment.

Do you plot out your novels in advance or do you write on the fly?

I start with a very rough idea of the plot and main characters and a whole load of fairly undisciplined inspiration. Then I just rush in. Once I have the title and the first paragraph (imperative beginnings) then I’m flying. After finishing, I rewrite endlessly.

What experience do you want for your readers?

Entertainment. I’d love to move people - it’s probably all an extended desire for simple, enjoyable communication. I insist on absolute historical accuracy in my work but I’m not arrogant enough to want to educate anyone – or make people think. They’re free to think anyway they want – but I’d love to bring a little extra happiness into the world.

Are any of your character traits or settings based on real life?

I include real historical characters sometimes, but basically my work is fiction and I don’t consciously base my characters on friends, or include situations that have happened. Of course all writing includes a muddles up version of the author’s experiences one way or another.

What are your most significant challenges when you write?

Probably back ache from slumping over the computer.

What are you currently working on?

THE WENDING – the sequel to FAIR WEATHER. So many people have asked me to write it, so I am delighted to do so.

Do you have any writing advice you would like to share with aspiring authors?

I don’t think I’m qualified to advise others yet – when I’m making my second million maybe. Or perhaps I should say – Don’t listen to anyone’s advice. There aren’t any rules. Just do what you love.

Fair Weather is available on Amazon Kindle


  1. I've recently read Fair Weather, and have to say it was a fantastic book. It grabbed me from the start and I was hooked. Couldn’t put it down. It's a very original story with a lot of detailed historical background and the whole thing really seems to come alive. I fell in love with the characters, they're vivid and absorbing. It’s well written and all the detail made me feel like I was walking through medieval London. I enjoyed this book so much I was sorry to get to the end, so I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel! And now that Satin Cinnabar is available I can't wait to read it and see if it's as good as Fair Weather was.

  2. I've read Fair Weather and Satin Cinnabar and loved both. Barbara's ability to recreate the medieval period and populate it with characters whose lives the reader becomes totally engaged with is remarkable. She's a fantastic author. Barbara now has a blog with some excellent information. Http://