This week’s guest on the Inheritance Books sofa is librarian/ information ninja and novelist April Taylor. Hi April. Can I get you a cuppa? While you’re waiting, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Having worked in public libraries, a prison library and a pharmaceutical research library, I gave up my career as a chartered librarian in 2003, so that I could write full time. I have always loved crime fiction, both historical and contemporary. The three books in my historical crime fantasy series, The Tudor Enigma were published by Harlequin/Carina. My contemporary detective is an early-music soprano, Georgia Pattison. The books I write denote my passions. For history, for magic, for singing and music in general and for all things crime related. I moved from Yorkshire to Lincolnshire in the UK in 2015 and find I have come to a county so full of history it is like a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. I live in a Victorian cottage in the middle of nowhere with my patient husband and my less-than-patient blind, rescue, golden retriever. I am known locally as the lady who is the guide for the blind dog! I spend most of my time writing, but now have to schedule gardening time, too.
Which book have you inherited from a generation above you? Why is it special?
I inherited Ammie Come Home by Barbara Michaels from my mother. It is a poor battered thing that has travelled with me through about ten house moves, but as the years have gone by I realise I inherited my passion for crime and history from Mum. Ammie contains all the elements we both loved, a mystery, some history and with the added element of the supernatural. Mum was psychic although it was not a part of her that she developed; it was something that fascinated her. I read Ammie about once a year; it brings Mum close and is a treasured possession. The book follows Ruth Bennett’s life when her niece, Sara, comes to live with her in Georgetown, Washington, how Sara is the conduit to call the spirit of frightened forlorn Amanda Campbell from her time in the American Civil War and into the 20th century she reveals a terrible crime. Written in 1969, Ammie is still a fine piece of atmospheric writing with a wonderful sense of period and incredible storytelling.
That sounds intriguing. Which book would you leave to generations below you? Why?
The book I would like to leave to future generations is Simon Thurley’s enormous book on Hampton Court Palace. Most people associate this most iconic of buildings with Henry VIII, but the book covers the whole of its history from its time as a house of the Knights Hospitallers through to the present day. It includes architectural changes made by the various monarchs and how the gardens developed in each reign. I am a firm believer that unless we know where we have come from, we cannot plan where we are going. If we look at history, how often does it repeat itself? How often do we make mistakes our forebears made but which we have ignored? During WW2, Winston Churchill once told the actor David Niven that something momentous was about to happen. When Niven asked how he knew, Churchill replied, “Because, young man, I study history.”
You can find out more about April on her website, on Facebook or by chatting to her on Twitter (@authapriltaylor. You can buy her latest book, Dearly Ransomed Soul on Amazon and other ebook retailers.
If you would like to share your Inheritance Books, please contact me on rhodabaxter(at)gmail.com.