Hello lovelies! Today I have a fantastic guest post from Terri Nixon about the inspiration behind her novel A Cornish Inheritance but first a little about the book:
Title: A Cornish Inheritance by Terri Nixon
Date Published: 5th December 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction
Welcome to Fox Bay Hotel, where family fortunes rise and fall.
1920, Bristol. Helen Fox is happily married to the love of her life: charming, former playboy Harry. With their three children, glamorous lifestyle and extravagant parties, they have the perfect life. But after a tragic motorcycle accident, nothing will ever be the same…
Helen is forced to leave their home and move to the Fox family’s hotel on the Cornish coast – where she discovers her perfect life has been based on a lie.
Now Helen must find a way to build a new life for herself and her children with the help of a vivacious new friend, Leah Marshall.
But when the future of the hotel is threatened, Helen discovers that she hasn’t left her past behind after all, and unless she takes drastic action, she’s going to lose everything all over again…
You can buy your copy here:
Guest Post: Meet the Foxes of Fox Bay
1920s Fox Bay Hotel is a bit of a glamour trap. A former monastery, now a holiday destination for the most discerning of guests, and situated on the coast within a stone’s throw of a picturesque village. An art deco dream of a place… Too too perfect, darling, you simply must go! But sign up a lawyer first…
I was all fired up ready to write a fourth volume in the Penhaligon Saga; I’d written a detailed outline, which I loved (I still do) and was hoping my publisher would pick it up. But they decided the saga had run its course, had tied everything up nicely in book 3, and answered all the questions I’d asked in book 2. ‘We’d like you to write something new.’
So I plucked something out of mid-air and threw it at my agent. ‘Uh, how about a… a hotel? Set on the South Devon coast?’ It would be so wonderful to write something set in the area in which I was born, and a hotel would give me the opportunity to have any number of different types of guests, with their own interesting secrets and stories. I was buzzing already.
The publisher was equally enthusiastic. ‘Sounds great, send in a submission package. We particularly love that it’s set in Devon!’
I wrote an outline and the first three chapters, and sent it all off.
‘Yes please, we’ll take 3. Only please could you set it in Cornwall instead?’
So I happily re-set my fictional village on the west coast of Cornwall and began the exciting job of getting to know my characters.
A few years ago a good friend of mine moved into a gorgeous flat that had once been part of a military hospital here in Plymouth. He’d gone exploring up in a communal attic space and found this painted on one of the beams:
H & H, The Heavenly Twins… what’s not to love about that? He knew I’d be all over it, and he was right; when I realised I’d called my main character Helen, and her husband Harry, I knew I had to incorporate that mysterious, hastily-painted little slice of history somehow.
And so the Heavenly Twins were born.
Harry the bon viveur and former playboy, living – in modern parlance – his “best life,” in the years immediately following the Great War, and throwing the biggest and glitziest parties, with the brightest and smartest friends.
Helen, not quite timid, but certainly no social butterfly, could hardly believe he’d chosen her at first, and she wasn’t the only one, but in the years since they married they have defied expectation and silenced the critics. Their marriage has been passionate and rock-solid, and their three children are adorable but headstrong individuals, who have grown up rich in matters both material and emotional. Everyone loves the Foxes.
But of course this can’t last; it’s a family drama! If this family existed in a soap you’d just know there was something nasty in the woodshed; some shade from the past, or a terrible decision, is going to shove a spanner in the spokes, and the fates just sit back and watch with a sly grin, while everything collapses.
So it is with the Foxes. When Helen has to take the children away from the home they’ve known all their lives, and even the memories of those halcyon days are tainted, she has to re-evaluate her situation, and, at the same time as she’s coming to terms with her own “new normal,” she has to protect her children’s futures.
She makes a new friend, Leah Marshall, a widow with a shady past, but such a talent for mimicry and play-acting that the Foxes warm to her immediately. She brightens everything, becomes an honorary aunt to the children, and later, when Helen has cause to question her honesty and her intentions, I hope the readers will feel the conflict as deeply as if Leah is a real member of the family. She’s a question mark, hidden by the brightness of her own smile.
Helen herself is unused to standing her ground and having to fight for what’s hers, and all we can do is watch, and will her on. The family motto is Vulpes latebram suam defendit – The fox defends his lair. Helen has a lot of work to do…
The second half of the first book, A Cornish Inheritance, prominently features one of the now grown “children,” and each of the next two books will do the same for the others. It’s been interesting to see how the sudden change in lifestyle has affected the “cubs” during their formative years, and each of them has their own individual set of interests and ambitions, which can lead them into dangerous, potentially deadly, situations. But will they listen to me, the mere author? As if! They’re just going to go right on with what they’re doing, and if they won’t listen to me, what do you suppose chances are that they’ll listen to Helen?
So hold on to your hats; those Fox cubs are going to shake things up at the bay, and the shockwaves might well stretch across the whole of Cornwall!
About The Author:
Terri was born in Plymouth. At the age of 9, she moved with her family to Cornwall, to the village featured in Jamaica Inn — North Hill — where she discovered a love of writing that has stayed with her ever since. She also discovered apple-scrumping, and how to jump out of a hayloft without breaking any bones, but no-one’s ever offered to pay her for doing those.
Since publishing in paperback for the first time in 2002, Terri has appeared in both print and online fiction collections, and is proud to have contributed to the Shirley Jackson award-nominated hardback collection: Bound for Evil, by Dead Letter Press.
As a Hybrid author, her first commercially published novel was Maid of Oaklands Manor, published by Piatkus Entice.
Terri’s self-published Mythic Fiction series set in Cornwall, The Lynher Mill Chronicles, is now complete and available in paperback and e-book.
Terri also writes under the name T Nixon, and has contributed to anthologies under the names Terri Pine and Teresa Nixon. She is represented by the Kate Nash Literary Agency. She now lives in Plymouth with her youngest son, and works in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Plymouth University, where she is constantly baffled by the number of students who don’t possess pens.
Website : http://www.terrinixon.com/