Jen Silver: Writing a Novel, with bonus giveaway of Starting Over

17 Nov

jensilverToday we welcome Jen Silver to UK LesFic. Jen lives near Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, England, with her long-term civil partner. As well as reading and writing, her other activities include golf, archery and travel. Her first-hand experience of an archaeological dig and interest in Roman history were the creative forces behind her first published novel, Starting Over, released by Affinity Ebook Press in October 2014.

Take it away, Jen!

~ ~ ~

As a début author, I’m not an expert on writing novels, but I can share my experience of writing this one. When I began Starting Over I had no idea what the finished story was going to be. I had the two main characters living on an isolated farm above the town of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire. The landscape was very real in my mind and so were these two characters. I could imagine driving up the long track to Starling Hill farm, arriving in the farmyard—two cats sunning themselves by the front door of the stone-built house with its gothic-looking narrow windows, chickens pecking away in their enclosure, the sound of a pottery wheel coming from the dilapidated barn, and someone tinkering with a motorbike.

starting overStarling Hill farm, as I named it, seemed pretty idyllic. But, of course, it wasn’t. There wouldn’t be much of a story if that were the case. Chapter One emerged quite easily with the introduction of the main characters, their current situation, and some of their past.

But then came a sticky moment. What next? So Chapter Two started with the introduction of a new character and this turned out to be the real catalyst for the rest of the story. Dr Kathryn Moss, a professor of archaeology, had been alluded to in the first chapter, but I hadn’t initially thought she would have a big part to play. I was wrong. The way the characters took over the development of the story caught me by surprise. I know many writers work their plots out in advance with elaborate timelines and comprehensive character sketches. But this isn’t how my story developed. The characters had their say.

The idea of having an archaeological dig at Starling Hill took root, not just as a plot device, but also because it was the perfect setting for what could have been a hilltop fort in Roman Britain. Anyone familiar with the area will recognise it from the image on the cover of the book, a view overlooking Saddleworth Moor—the notorious Saddleworth Moor.

So, some bones are discovered at the farm. Whose bones are they? This was another twist in the plot that took me by surprise, but actually made perfect sense in the context of the story.

It’s been an amazing journey so far, finishing a novel, getting it published, having other people read it and finding out how they see the characters and the story.

~ ~ ~

Giveaway time:

The first correct answer drawn out of the hat will be the winner and receive either a signed paperback copy or an e-book of Starting Over.

Q: Does the University of Huddersfield have an Archaeology department?

Leave your answer in the comments on this thread, or e-mail it to uk lesfic @ gmail. com (obviously take out the spaces there!) Closing date is: Monday 24th November, 12 p.m GMT

~ ~ ~

Good luck 🙂 And you can find out more about Jen by friending her on Facebook, following her on Twitter (@jenjsilver) or visiting her blog.

15 Responses to “Jen Silver: Writing a Novel, with bonus giveaway of Starting Over”

  1. Sue H November 17, 2014 at 11:09 am #

    Interesting blog, look forward to reading. Answer to question – No.

  2. Devlyn November 17, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    Looking forward to reading this and love the book cover. Huddersfield does not have and archeology department so the answer is no.

  3. scottiegirl72 November 17, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

    I’ve just read the ebook and i loved it.
    There is a great mixture of characters and the description of the farm and surrounding areas made me want to visit.
    I live in Huddersfield so it was great to find a book set in the area.
    The answer to the question is no.

  4. Svetla (Czech fan of English lesfic) November 17, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

    It would be great to meet a new author and I suppose there is a Department of Archaeology.

  5. maz Tucker November 17, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

    Answer to Question – No.

  6. Julee November 17, 2014 at 5:22 pm #


  7. RJ November 17, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

    Great blog and a very interesting sounding story. Answer: no

  8. Kim Warren November 17, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

    Looking forward to reading it.

    No Huddersfield University does not have an archaeology department.

  9. ameliahfaith November 17, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

    It appears not however there is an Archaeology Lab.

  10. Angela November 17, 2014 at 11:28 pm #

    This feels like cheating – I thought the answer to the question would be yes but there are too many saying no. So going to go for no but there should be one!!

  11. petra November 18, 2014 at 3:41 am #

    Looks like a great read, count me in. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any Archeology Department / Faculty!

  12. Barbara G. November 18, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

    No, says I and most of the others 🙂

  13. Widdershins November 19, 2014 at 5:49 am #

    Well, I had to go and google Saddleworth Moor didn’t I? A sad story all round.

  14. Cheryl November 21, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    No there isn’t. Now I must go find out more about Saddleworth’s Moor. I find the archeological digs in England fascinating.

  15. Maverick Derrick November 23, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

    The University of Huddersfield does not have archaeology department.

    Regards Derrick

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