Wednesday, 2 November 2011
The Devil's Priest lives again
Like most writers at present, I find my thoughts much occupied by ebooks. And I'm not the only one. Kate Ellis has used digital publishing to bring back to life her historical mystery The Devil's Priest. So I invited her to tell me, and us, more about it.
'History has always featured strongly in my Wesley Peterson novels, which are set in the modern day but always have an additional mystery from the past somewhere in the background. However, several years ago I wrote a novel set entirely in the sixteenth century during the reign of Henry VIII. As I was concentrating on Wesley and his heavy caseload at the time, it was taken on by a small publisher and a few years ago it went out of print, which was a pity because many of my readers told me they loved it…and even asked when I was going to make it into a series. Because I was busy with other projects, The Devil’s Priest lay forgotten for a while…until the advent of the e-book revolution!
All my other novels have been issued as e-books but, as The Devil’s Priest wasn’t with a major publisher, it fell to me to arrange for it to be brought out on Kindle. My husband and my Systems Analyst son tackled the difficult technical stuff and now I’m very proud to see it there on Amazon, available to my readers at a bargain price.
Although I wrote The Devil’s Priest some time ago I recall vividly how much I enjoyed carrying out the extensive research into life in Tudor Cheshire and Liverpool. The initial idea emerged from the history of my local church. Back in the 1530s, the Rector of Cheadle in Cheshire had a sister who was Abbess of Godstow in Oxford. Her name was Lady Katheryn Bulkeley and, as Abbess of a major religious house, she must have been one of the most powerful women in the land. In the course of my research I found letters written by her to Thomas Cromwell during the dissolution of the monasteries, in which she stood up for the rights of her abbey and her Sisters with a remarkable blend of tact and defiance. On the closure of Godstow Abbey this feisty woman came home to live with her brother in Cheshire where she died in 1559 and was buried in the chancel of the parish church where he was Rector.
With such a strong historical character so close at hand I couldn’t resist giving her a mystery to solve so at the beginning of The Devil’s Priest she receives word that one of her former novice nuns is facing deep trouble in the small port of Liverpool some forty miles away. Of course Lady Katheryn answers the desperate cry for help with dark and sinister consequences.
So, thanks to the development of e-books, readers can again enjoy Lady Katheryn’s perilous investigation. And I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed researching and writing it!'