Putting My Head Above the Parapet

This blog entry first appeared on the Novel Points of View Blog. A blog always worth reading, and subscribing to!

https://novelpointsofview.blogspot.com/2021/05/putting-my-head-above-parapet.html

Putting My Head Above the Parapet

A couple of months ago, I got the shock of my life (almost) when an invitation arrived from the lovely Rae Cowie asking if I’d like to join the Not-So-Secret Seven. This is the team that produce the consistently good Novel Points of View blog.

I must have hummed and hawed for ages – possibly as much as two milliseconds before deciding to accept! The phrase “with alacrity” comes to mind.

The Not-So-Secret-Six-plus-Me are all fellow romantic novelists and fellow members of the Romantic Novelists Association.

Being asked to join such a team carries its own responsibilities. Luckily, the group generates its own strength. To tell the truth, I was sincerely flattered to be asked to join.

So a bit about me. I’m male, large, old, a former sailor, and write historical novels based around a singularly colourful bunch of characters in my family tree. These include:

Robert Rochfort, Earl of Bellfield and of Belvedere. A complete and utter bastard.

Jane Rochfort, his daughter, Lady Lanesborough and who was one of the “Faro Ladies.”

John King, her second husband, who seems to have been a dodgy Jewish moneylender. He wasn’t.

Henry Dumaresq, my Great-great-grandfather, who joined Wellington’s army in 1808 as an ensign and finished up as Lt. Colonel at Waterloo and aide-de-camp to General Byng.

Stephen Harvey James and his son, also Stephen, opened up the Crown Mine at Botallack. Stephen, his son, was also the mine’s last Purser.

ALL of them and more have stories to be written about them, their lives and their loves. I’ve done the first, and I’m working on the second. All of them are worth Googling. All of them are usefully dead, so they can’t sue, too! Should I live long enough there are absolutely LOADS more, too. No one properly famous, but all interesting!

By the way, it’s worth remembering that about one-third of the UK population can claim descendancy from King Edward III. This includes Danny Dyer, so on that basis, at least 2 of the others in the Not-So-Secret-Seven must be related to me. I wonder which two?

Apart from writing, I also do a fair bit of back-office work for the RNA, including setting up the Author Profiles on the RNA Webpage. This has been and continues to be quite fascinating.

Some people take full advantage of their “profile space”. They write something about themselves and their writing that will be attractive to readers old and new, while others prefer a sparse listing. There are even some who don’t want a profile up at all! I find this a little odd, as this is free advertising for you and your books. It is also very much part of your “brand” and will say much the same as on your Amazon page or your website.

After doing over 1000 profiles, it’s still fun to put them up for people. Here are the profiles of three of my fellow bloggers.

And now, a word about hedgehogs!

We retired to a small village just north of York (Old York, in the UK) a few years ago. Access to our garden is relatively open plan. It backs on to what was an old orchard full of fruit trees, which now forms the large back garden for one of the original farmhouses in the village.

In our second year here, we were sat out one warm summer night when we saw our first hedgie, just bumbling around in one of the borders.

The following day I put a hole in the fence to the old orchard, and we started to put food out for them.

Then our daughters bought me a trail cam!

Ever since, and about 5 cameras later (they don’t last forever), we have both been finding hours of entertainment from them. Every year, they have come back to the garden, where they do great work eating garden pests.

We have had as many as 5 in the garden at once! This year they are back. Just two of them so far, but the hoglet season will be upon us next month.

It’s easy to see why they are Britain’s favourite animal, and as it happens, this week is Hedgehog Awareness Week!

Enjoy! And don’t forget to subscribe and share!

John 

One thought on “Putting My Head Above the Parapet

  1. We used to have a pet 🦔 who literally tumbled into our lives. We were living in a basement flat and it was raining. Then something rolled down the outer stairs. Buddy lived with us to a ripe old age of five years before he decided he was tired. We decided to cremate instead of bury him so he’s still with us in a sense. Sometimes, we find a prickle even if it’s been years. That’s when we know he’s never left. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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