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  • Writer's pictureSheila Claydon

The story behind the story

When I first started writing romance (a very long time ago) it was all about powerful and wealthy men and although my heroines were never, ever needy, and although they always worked, things were definitely different. Especially in my first book 'Golden Girl,' where the main character was a 1960's secretary looking after her man!

Since then, needless to say, things have changed. Life is much more equal, and rightly so. Also, settings can be far less exotic. Once upon a time in romance luxury was a bit of a byword. As were the clothes the heroines wore. Now it is all very casual. In fact clothes and appearance are barely touched upon. It is much more about the inner thoughts of the characters, the emotional connection, and even the mundane aspects of their lives. In fact you could say it is all more real life...except in the case of my Mapleby series, it isn't.

My writing style has definitely changed over the years and now, although I still sometimes write a stand alone romance, I prefer to follow a character that i find particularly interesting through several books rather than just end with a happy ever after. This is why I have written 'Loving Ellen.' It is also why I have introduced Mapleby Magic - the time travel aspect of each story. It allows me to introduce a whole lot of back story, which I find a really interesting thing to do. In the first book of the Mapleby Memories series, 'Remembering Rose', the heroine, Rachel, was able to step into the past events that happened in and around the village as she followed the twists and turns of Rose's life and tried to make sense of it. In 'Loving Ellen,' this continues when the spirit of one of Mapleby's past residents returns on a personal quest to solve a very human problem. And who better to help her than Millie Carter? If you have read Book 1 you will know that Millie became Rachel's best friend. You will know too that she has survived some of the worst things that life could throw at her and come up smiling, determined, hardworking and kind. Don't get me wrong though. She is far from your sweet do-gooder. Millie is gutsy and resilient and prepared to say her piece. And most important of all, she isn't traumatised by ghosts!

If you want to see who she is then go to my book snippets page where you can read the opening pages of "Loving Ellen.' Enjoy!

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