One of the blessings of hosting the authors of Bookouture, has been happily finding all the lovely styles of stories emerging out of this UK Indie publisher! I have a soft spot for historicals – when I can curl inside a slice of the historical past I have not yet had the pleasure of exploring, there is an overwhelming bubbling of joy bursting in my readerly heart! I love travelling through the different portals of time, but I also, love finding myself being in a position where I can learn something about History through the eyes and lives of strongly writ characters who endear you to their stories inasmuch as the timescape by which they are living!
Daughters of the Silk Road appealed to my sensibility for antiques and the artifacts passed down through generations which withhold stories of their own, as they are moved through time from one person to another. This is one reason I find it incredible to be browsing through an antique emporium and/or attending an auction – what curious thoughts dance through a writer’s head inasmuch as a reader – what would all those objects of art and antiquity or ordinary life speak on behalf of their own journey? What could we gleam in knowledge about how life was lived through those pieces as well? What curious fascinations of thought course through your veins as you happily ponder all the lovely mysteries attached to everything set before your eyes!
Such a joy for me to be featuring Ms Rix today – celebrating her new book but also, the excitement of finding how history cross-sects with destiny!
To gain a bit of a back-story on how I came to host Bookouture authors,
please visit my first conversation I featured with this publisher with Teresa Driscoll!
Venice 1441: Maria and her brother Daniele arrive in the birthplace of their father, Niccolo de Conti. An Italian merchant who has travelled far and wide, Niccolo has brought spices from India, lengths of silk and damask from the lands east of India and porcelain; a vase of pure white, it’s surface painted with bright cobalt blue flowers and dragons, the symbols of good fortune.
Maria settles in her new home, watching the magnificent and bustling city come to life each morning from her bedroom window. But while her father is away travelling, she soon finds herself and Daniele in terrible danger. She must protect her brother at whatever cost, and shemust guard the delicate vase.
London 2015: Single mother Miranda is struggling to make ends meet and build a new life for her and daughter Georgie. When Miranda meets the charming but mysterious Charles, she is intrigued. Could he be her second chance at love? And why is he so fascinated by the old vase sitting on her hall table…
A stunning and richly evocative story following the journey of a precious family treasure passed down from one generation to another.
What drew you towards writing a time slip narrative, which unites the 20th Century with the 15th Century? Was the dexterity of owning both eras part of what appealed to you most? As this isn’t the first time you’ve used this story arc to tell a tale straight out of history’s mirror.
Rix responds: I feel that time-slip is both a useful and enjoyable discipline – both for myself as the writer, and I hope, for the reader. The presence of a modern hero or heroine guides the reader gently into the old story. The tricky part is to create a modern story that is as compelling as the historical one.
It is almost inevitable that the historical element will be interesting; that it will introduce the reader to a character in history, or to a time and a place in the past about which they know very little. But It is harder to do that with a modern story. I was determined, with this second book, to create a modern narrative that really engaged with the reader, so they were keen to ‘get back’ to Miranda’s modern story.
As a writer, there is also a certain joy in having two stories running simultaneously. You feel pleasure as you take up one narrative and leave the other behind. It keeps things fresh. And I like the puzzle element of it – of weaving the two stories together so they create a satisfying whole. Read More