Showing posts from October, 2014

True or false?

Regency-inspired YA fantasy fiction True Haven ... now on the other side of the Atlantic. True!

The Regency era was a time of extremes. The rich were almost obscenely rich, while the poor led a desperate existence, living from hand to mouth.

The excesses of the rich are legend, the tone set by the Prince Regent himself, who took up the reins of power  from 1811 to 1820 after his father was legally declared mad. The future George IV was known for his lavish spending, gambling, womanising and toping. At one point, he had debts of a staggering £650,000. It’s still a tidy sum today, so the mind boggles.

Read more here.

How well do you know the Regency era?

To mark the launch of True Haven, a Regency-inspired fantasy adventure, welcome to ....

The True Haven - TRUE OR FALSE QUIZ How well do you know the Regency era?
Just to set the record straight ... I understand that the Regency era is generally acknowledged to be between 1811-1820 when the “Prince Regent” took up the reins of power after his father was legally declared mad. 
Actually, some of these topics are more generally Georgian, but I hope I’ll be forgiven. It's not a contest, just a bit of fun. Scroll down for the answers.
1. Lots of Georges in the Georgian era. And one Herbert. True or false?
2. It was a time of change. The Agrarian Revolution, for instance. True or false?
3. The average lifespan in the Regency era was between 19 and 26 depending on where you lived. True or false? 4. It was an era of colonisation. Captain Bligh claimed for Britain the islands of New Zealand and the eastern coast of Australia. True or false?

5. Revolution was in the air. The American War of Indepen…

True Haven

To mark the launch of True Haven, a Regency-inspired fantasy adventure, it's time to dream up a Georgian-style cocktail.  

Of course, gin is the base (see Fancy a blue ruin?), so I felt that pineapple had to be the main fruit ingredient.
I recently visited Guy's Cliffe walled garden that is being restored, and I heard from the project botany supremo Barry Meatyard that pineapples were often just handed round - and not even eaten. Intrigued, I looked up more. Well!
Recipe first – then history.
Ingredients: Measure of gin Two measures of pineapple juice Dash of lime juice Measure of dry vermouth Twist of lime peel Ice cubes
Shake over ice. I used cubes of frozen juice, as I tend not to get through a whole carton of pineapple juice.
For a drier version, use grapefruit juice and possible sweet white vermouth.
Back to the fascinating history of this exotic produce. Ships brought in preserved pineapples from Caribbean islands as expensive sweetmeats – pineapple chunks candied, glazed and packed …

A matter of perspective

Even when I was little, I was short. By this I mean, shorter than just about everyone else. Children are vicious little beasts and teased me constantly. My pet hate was to be shoved to the front of photographed groups – even in the senior sixth form (and Deputy Head Girl, to boot) I was seated with the ‘ickle’ first years. They also called me ‘snitch’. I explained that it should really be ‘titch’ as snitch meant something quite different. That went down like a hot air balloon out of gas.

It’s not hard to see why I adored fantasy stories mingling little and large. It probably all began with The Borrowers by Mary Norton. I loved the fearless Arrietty Clock, and was enthralled by a tiny and resourceful heroine who had as much impact as a ‘giant’. Then there was Gulliver’s Travels and it's cleverness. And who can forget Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland ... ? Oh, how I longed for a magic potion to make me tall. Tall people are in charge, right?

Back in the real world, I fi…

All about True Haven ...

I was lucky enough to be assigned the talented and enthusiastic Bella Book as my editor for True Haven (out on Friday). She recently put me on the spot with some challenging questions on the book and the writing process.

With such an apt name, she should have been a character in the story.
You can read the interview on the True Haven blog if you have a moment ...
By Pamela Kelt

Regency inspiration

True Haven ...

… is a period fantasy adventure story set in a Regency-style world where a lively young seamstress escapes from a grim workhouse in the beautiful but deadly city of True Haven.

Meet Claramina Dart, a young seamstress. She thinks of herself as a tailor's apprentice, however.

Independent, smart, questioning ... she adapts quickly to circumstances and uses her wits to survive.

She lives in Mudwells. Overcrowded, foul-smelling, corrupt. But it's home.

‘Mina' has to take care of a young assistant, Barley Spindle. But then he is unfairly arrested and she steps in to save him.

Find out more on the companion website. Well, it's more of a blog, but there you are ...