Delighted today to be joining the blog tour for Miss Mary’s Daughter by Diney Costeloe, published on all e-platforms by Head of Zeus on 15th February – the hardback will be available in May, with the paperback to follow in August. If you’re a fan of sagas, I’m sure you’ll already be very aware of Diney’s writing – and this book really does look quite lovely…
After her mother’s death, twenty-year-old Sophie Ross is left orphaned in London. With no money and little chance of an income, she tries to get work as a governess to avoid destitution. Now alone in the world, she only has the company of her erstwhile nursemaid and faithful friend, Hannah.
But unbeknown to Sophie, her mother instructed Hannah to post a letter to Trescadinnick House in Cornwall upon her death. The letter will be the catalyst that changes Sophie’s life forever as she learns of her mother’s romance, marriage and then ultimate rejection by her own father and the estranged family she left behind in Cornwall.
The Penvarrow family welcome Sophie and Hannah into their fold, but tensions rise and family secrets are revealed as Sophie attempts to rebuild her life and find happiness.
If that looks like one for you, here are those important buying links:
It’s a real pleasure to welcome author Diney Costeloe as my guest today, to tell us about her life as a publisher’s daughter:
The publishing firm, Herbert Jenkins, was founded by HJ, author of the ‘Bindle’ books and my accountant grandfather, as joint managing directors. My father had to take over just before the war at the age of twenty seven, when his father died unexpectedly. Thus I have always been surrounded by books, our house was filled with them. Among other things, Herbert Jenkins published PG Wodehouse and I can remember one particular bookcase upstairs which contained only Wodehouse. I used to love looking at them. I expect they were first editions, but that wasn’t what interested me, it was the colours and characters on the dust jackets.
One of my earliest memories is of my father sitting in his big armchair by the fire at home in the evening, with a typescript on his knee, writing on it with a sharp pencil.
“What are you doing Daddy?” I asked once. “Are you writing a book?” My father shook his head. “No,” he said, “putting it into English, old chap!” (We were all ‘old chap’ to him, including my mother!)
Putting it into English! He was a great stickler for grammatical English. If any of us said, “It was me, Dad,” he would turn to my mother and say, “I think she means ‘it was I.’
Even now, when my sister and I phone each other, we often start the conversation with, “Hello! It’s I, your sister!”
When I was five I wrote a book called Tom’s Party. It was written on lined paper, in pencil, with difficult words like ‘afternoon’ taking up a whole line. I presented this opus to Dad and he took with him to the office. It came home bound in a cardboard cover with a typed label on the front.
Tom’s Party, written by Diney
Published by Daddy
My literary career had begun!
Encouraged by my father, I wrote stories and poems all through my childhood. He was my sternest critic. I can remember when he read one of my earliest romances he shook his head and remarked, “Your plotting’s weak, old chap. You need to put more obstacles in the way.” My daughter now says I put too many. Well, you can’t please everyone!
I trained as a primary teacher when I left school, but continued to write articles and short stories and had some success placing them in magazines, and even had three read on BBC radio. My first actual breakthrough came when I entered the BBC Woman’s Hour romantic novel competition. I only had three children under four, so I had plenty of time to write!
I didn’t win, I didn’t expect to, but I was short-listed which gave me the courage to send the manuscript to a London publisher. Dad had long since sold his firm to a larger concern and was retired, so no help there. What he did tell me, was to do my research before submitting a manuscript; find out what sort of books each publisher was publishing. “No use,” he said, “offering a romance to a firm that only publishes science fiction.”
I followed this advice and went to the library to look at the romantic fiction shelves. There I found a publisher who seemed to publish what I thought I’d written. I sent my book, The Slopes of Love to Robert Hale and to my amazement and delight they took it and my first ‘real’ book was published. I wrote several more for them, all under the pen name of Diney Delancey. Well, it sounds like a romantic novelist, doesn’t it? I shall use it again if I should write another romance. It stops people expecting a different sort of book.
So, books have filled my life, books I read for escape, books I read for excitement, books I read for research, books that someone has recommended. Recommendations are often the most rewarding as they may introduce you to an author you’d not come across before.
Reading is habit and a good one to cultivate, so happy reading everyone. It doesn’t matter what you read…as long as you read.
What a lovely story Diney, thank you so much – and thank you too to Melanie Price at publishers Head of Zeus for her support for the tour. Here are the other stops for you to follow…
About the author
Diney Costeloe is the bestselling author of The Throwaway Children, The Runaway Family, The Lost Soldier, The Sisters of St Croix and The Girl With No Name. She divides her time between Somerset and West Cork.
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