Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Welcome to Historical Author - Libby Ashworth

I’m delighted to welcome Libby Ashworth to the blog.

Libby Ashworth - Author

Hello Libby – Thank you for joining me on the Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat. But before we discover more about your latest release, The Cotton Spinner, here are a few questions which will hopefully give your readers and followers an insight into some of the things that matter to you.

Arabella: Authors can release books, making them available to readers in various ways…via an agent, or working directly with a traditional publisher, or they can even go the self-publishing route. Which method of publishing do you prefer, and why?
Libby: I’ve had experience of a variety of publishing routes. I’ve been a published short story for a long time and those stories were always sold directly to magazines. My first novel The de Lacy Inheritance was also sold directly to a small independent publisher, Myrmidon. After that I was taken on by an agent, but it didn’t work out so I decided to self publish some of my work. Then I was accepted by my current agent, Felicity Trew at the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency and she is such a treasure! She negotiated a contract with Arrow (Penguin Random House) within weeks of me signing up with her and working with an enthusiastic agent and the editors at one of the major publishing houses has been an amazing experience. So, if I were to give any advice to other authors who are still seeking representation and a publishing contract I would say aim high and keep on trying, but don’t be afraid of using other routes as well.

Arabella: A slice of Chocolate Cake, a piece of Fruit, or Burger and Fries?
Libby: My hand is hovering over the chocolate cake but my blood sugar level is telling me to pick fruit!

Arabella: Who or what inspired you to write your latest release, The Cotton Spinner?
Libby: I had the idea for my latest book, The Cotton Spinner, when I was researching my family history. I could see from the census records that my ancestors had moved from the small village of Whalley into the town of Blackburn, about ten miles away, during the years of the Industrial Revolution. They had been working as hand spinners and hand loom weavers and it was clear that they had been forced to find work in the mills. It was whilst I was wondering how they had coped with such a huge change in their lifestyle that I decided to tell their story.

Arabella: If the person of your dreams, (husband/wife/partner/or superstar), were to take you out for the night, where would they take you and what would you do?
Libby: I’m not really a party person, but I do love the natural world. I’ve always wanted to see the northern lights – and it would be wonderful to see them with the person of my dreams. But if I were with the person of my dreams I think even a shooting star would be enough.

Northern Lights

Arabella: Currently, what is your most favourite T.V. programme, and why?
Libby: The trouble with watching drama on television when you’re a writer is the temptation to analyse it too closely and begin to edit it in your head! The best dramas are the ones that I become so involved in that I forget to do that. I don’t have a particular favourite at the moment, but amongst the ones I’ve enjoyed lately are The Split (and also I’ve caught up with The Hour on iplayer which I thought was excellent). I’ve also watched the new Star Trek series on Amazon Prime – Picard, which I enjoyed. I like Gardeners’ World too; it’s very soothing. I also have a soft spot for Inspector Montelbano, although I think I may be missing a lot by having to rely on subtitles

Star Trek - Picard

Arabella: When writing a book or chapter, which do you concentrate on first: plot, character, or setting?
Libby: It’s always a mixture. I think the character comes first, but where they live and what happens to them is what makes me want to tell their story.

Arabella: How do you research your novels and characters?
Libby: One of my mainstays for researching The Mill Town Lasses series is a book that originally belonged to my late father and is signed by the author George Miller. It’s called Blackburn – the Evolution of a Cotton Town and is filled with historical detail and extracts from local newspapers over the years. Little did I know when I saw it on the bookshelf when I was a child what use I would make of it!

Arabella: What advice would you give to someone who is starting out on their writing journey?
Libby: Be persistent. Believe in yourself and never give up. I was considering giving up a couple of years ago, but decided to have one last round of submissions to agents with The Cotton Spinner. If I had given up, the story would still be sitting on my computer rather than the shelves of the bookshops.

Libby – It was great having you on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat and I hope your readers enjoyed discovering some of your writing secrets. A trip to see the Northern Lights to view the aurora borealis sounds amazing.
Best wishes for your release, The Cotton Spinner

About Libby: Ashworth

Libby Ashworth - Author

Libby Ashworth was born and raised in Lancashire, where she can trace her family back to the Middle Ages. It was while researching her family history that she realised there were so many stories about ordinary working people that she wanted to tell. She has previously written historical novels - The de Lacy Inheritance and By Loyalty Bound – as well as local history books. The Cotton Spinner is her first saga novel. Libby currently lives in Lancashire with her son.

Social Media Links:
Facebook: Libby Ashworth @elizabethashworth
Twitter: @elizashworth
Instagram: libbyashworthauthor

Book Blurb:  The Cotton Spinner

Lancashire, 1826
When Jennet and Titus Eastwood are forced to move from their idyllic cottage into the centre of Blackburn to find work in the cotton mills, their lives are changed in ways they could never have imagined and their new home on Paradise Lane is anything but . . .
Then Titus is arrested and sent to prison for attending a Reform meeting. Jennet is left to fend for herself and things go from bad to worse as she finds herself pregnant and alone – with another man’s child . . .

The Mill Town Lasses is a saga series. The Cotton Spinner is the first book, out 16th April, to be followed by A Lancashire Lass in August and a third book in February 2021.

Buy Links:

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