Tuesday 30 May 2017

Guest Post & Giveaway - Take a look at Jennifer Wilson's Chance - Chances Fortnight

Hi Rachel, and thank you for inviting me to join your blog today.

I’m not always good at taking chances. I’m a bit of a ‘stay safe’ sort of person, but in late 2014, I decided to give chances a go, and threw my name in the hat for a Very Important Ballot. Very important to me, at any rate.

I am a Ricardian. That is, I am a supporter of King Richard III of England, and, I confess, this has sometimes edged just slightly into obsession.

It’s an odd thing to ‘lose’ a King of England, but for over 500 years, that’s what had happened to Richard, after his defeat and hurried, undignified burial in Greyfriars Priory Church at Leicester, following the Battle of Bosworth. People knew where the church had been, but with centuries of building and development, the site of the actual burial had been lost, until a campaign led to an archaeological dig in 2012.

I was hooked to the press conference on 4th February 2013, when they announced that a skeleton discovered the previous September was indeed that of Richard III. The scene was set for a magnificent reburial, with plans finally announced that the location would be Leicester Cathedral.
And so to that chance in December 2014. A ballot was announced, giving 600 ordinary people the chance to be part of the three services which formed the reburial week. How could I not take part? I just wanted to say I had been part of it, and fast forward to January 2015, when the gold-rimmed envelope appeared in my letterbox, I just assumed it was to tell me I hadn’t been successful. On reflection, opening said envelope on the busy Metro during my morning commute wasn’t the smartest idea… I was invited to Compline! Ok, so I had to instantly Google Compline to check what it actually was, but in that moment, I didn’t honestly care – I was off to Leicester!

The weekend of 21/22 March 2015 was magical for me. A Saturday of lectures, then on the Sunday, the official unveiling of Richard’s coffin, following his hearse along the first part of his journey, then sitting in the cathedral (front row!), watching that same coffin being carried in for the first time. Filtering past it at the end of the service is something I’ll never forget.

It was an inspiring day, and later that evening, sat in the Travelodge (apparently built on the site of the inn where Richard spent his final night before travelling to Bosworth), I started scribbling, and by the end of the night I had three poems (none particularly great, but never mind), and finally, the motivation to finish editing the draft novel I had completed during the previous November’s NaNoWriMo.

Within the month, it was finished, polished and preened, and then came another decision to take a chance. To submit, or not to submit – that was the question. My mum provided the answer, advising me, kindly, to “stop faffing about and submit it.” So I did. To the wonderful Crooked Cat Books, and in October 2015, only six months after sitting in Leicester Cathedral, there was my debut novel, up on Amazon, for all the world to see (and, hopefully, buy!).

Two chances, which I am so glad I took, mainly because they made me a heck of a lot braver and willing to take more.

And the latest? Hitting ‘send’ and submitting what has since become my second novel, due for release in June 2017.

Giveaway to Win an e-copy of Kindred Spirits: Tower of London (Open Internationally)
Jennifer Wilson is very kindly giving my followers a chance to win an e-copy of Kindred Spirits: Tower of London

Giveaway open internationally, all options are voluntary, but please do what they ask, as I will be verifying the winner. Giveaway closes 23:59 13/06/2017. Winner will be announced on twitter and emailed, and they will need to reply within 7 days, or forfeit the prize, and I will re-draw for a new winner.  Good luck everyone.

Win an e-copy of Kindred Spirits: Tower of London (Open Internationally)

About Jennifer

Jennifer is a marine biologist by training, who spent much of her childhood stalking Mary, Queen of Scots (initially accidentally, but then with intention). She completed her BSc and MSc at the University of Hull, and has worked as a marine environmental consulting since graduating. Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east reignited Jennifer’s pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and also continues to develop her poetic voice, reading at a number of events, and with several pieces available online. She is also part of The Next Page, running workshops and other literary events in North Tyneside.

Jennifer’s debut novel, Kindred Spirits: Tower of London, was released by Crooked Cat Books in October 2015, and Kindred Spirits: Royal Mile is coming June 2017. She can be found online at her blog, on Twitter and Facebook, as well as at The Next Page’s blog

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