Henri shouts, “Stand and deliver!”

thd_packshot-web1Actually it’s the other way round, I’m the one who’s delivering. It gives me great pleasure to reveal the cover for my next novel, The Highwayman’s Daughter, which will be published in January 2014.

In contrast to my contemporary romantic suspense novels, the setting for this book is Hounslow Heath in the 18th century, during the golden age of “gentlemen of the road”, and it’s a swash-buckling romp, light-hearted in parts but with darker elements too, as well as a core mystery.

I really love this cover, with its hint of intrigue and the central character’s slightly androgynous clothing and untamed hair, which tells us that she’s free-spirited and possibly a bit of a tomboy. I also love the green marbled background symbolising a forested hide-out (in 1768 Hounslow Heath was still densely forested in places), and the font has undertones of Pirates of the Caribbean.

Another reason I’m very excited is that this is actually my first historical novel. I always saw myself as a writer of contemporary fiction, so when this story presented itself to me, almost completely written in my head, it was rather a shock to the system. Should I ignore it and concentrate on my contemporary work, or should I go where the story was taking me and see what happened?

I trusted my instinct and went with the story. When I’d finished it, not only was I thrilled that I’d written a novel in a historical period which has always captured my imagination – the Georgian period – I also discovered that I’d succeeded in creating my own story universe (and by that I don’t mean an alternate universe…) as well as the basis for a trilogy.

So I’m very glad I didn’t ignore the call to “stand and deliver”!