Five Fascinating Facts – Jude Knight

It’s a real pleasure to welcome fellow historical writer, Jude Knight, to the blog this morning. Hi Jude, I expect it’s night-time in the southern hemisphere, but maybe one or two night owls are up and about.


Five Fascinating Facts: Jude Knight, the real one

Fascinating Fact One  

I enjoy sewing, but lead a busy life and often take weeks(if not months) to finish a project. I though a dress model might help, so last year I laid in a supply of duct tape, some insulating foam, and a bottle of red wine. The duct tape was to wrap around my body, the insulating foam was to fill the shape once it had been cut off me, and the red wine lubricated the afternoon. A friend came over to help wrap me, and the whole project took longer than expected because we spent so much of the time helpless with laughter. It worked, though.

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Fascinating Fact Two

The PRH (personal romantic hero) and I live on a two-acre patch of land with two cats, five chickens, and occasional grandchildren. The patch is in the middle of a town block, surrounded by ordinary suburban sections; we have nearly twenty next-door neighbours. The story goes that a road was meant to run along our back fence, opening the block to subdivision. But a friend of the mayor did not want to live on a corner section, so the mayor approved the sale of the road block, leaving our acreage land locked.








Fascinating Fact Three

When my youngest child started school, I applied for a job writing computer software manuals. The interviewer pointed out that I knew nothing about computers. Being a bit bumptious by nature, I told him, “I can learn about computers faster than you can learn how to write.” He didn’t disagree, but later (after I started the job) I found out he was a playwright. The moral of the story is, do your due diligence!

Fascinating Fact Four

I am quarter of an inch shy of five feet tall, and I’ve heard all the short jokes. Yes, the weather is fine down here. And yes, I am standing, not sitting. And my family fed me. But I’m tall enough that my feet touch the ground, and short enough that I don’t have to walk in a ditch. So I reckon I’m about the right size.

I’m not very tall either, Jude, and I have red hair so the jokes were about whether mum forgot to dry my hair and it rusted. What really bugged me about them was that the teller thought s/he was being original (as if).














Fascinating Fact Five

For our 40th wedding anniversary, PRH and I gave one another a kitten, two sisters from the same litter. PRH’s cat, Tiger, is a large fluffy lady who is devoted to guarding the bed. She spends all day and every day, curled in a ball fast asleep on one corner of our duvet. She is one tough cat, and will see off any other cats that come onto the section. My little girl, Ruby, is very sweet but also highly neurotic. I tell people that her mother warned her to watch out for hawks, but failed to explain what a hawk was. She trusts me, and will accept PRH if I’m not around, but runs and hides from everyone and anyone else. PRH, whose sense of humour goes by contraries, calls her The Black Evil One, and her sister The Hench Cat.

Jude Knight has a new book out A Baron for Becky (Novels Now does love an alliterative title, don’t you?) Here’s the wonderful cover:



She was a fallen woman when she met them. How can they help her fall on her feet?

Book Blurb

Becky is the envy of the courtesans of the demi-monde – the indulged mistress of the wealthy and charismatic Marquis of Aldridge. But she dreams of a normal life; one in which her daughter can have a future that does not depend on beauty, sex, and the whims of a man.

Finding herself with child, she hesitates to tell Aldridge. Will he cast her off, send her away, or keep her and condemn another child to this uncertain shadow world?

The devil-may-care face Hugh shows to the world hides a desperate sorrow; a sorrow he tries to drown with drink and riotous living. His years at war haunt him, but even more, he doesn’t want to think about the illness that robbed him of the ability to father a son. When he dies, his barony will die with him. His title will fall into abeyance, and his estate will be scooped up by the Crown.

When Aldridge surprises them both with a daring proposition, they do not expect love to be part of the bargain.

Tempting and by leaving a comment you may be selected to win a free copy of A Baron for Becky


Author bio

Jude Knight writes strong determined heroines, heroes who can appreciate a clever capable woman, villains you’ll love to loathe, and all with a leavening of humour.

Jude Knight is the pen name of Judy Knighton. After a career in commercial writing, editing, and publishing, Jude is returning to her first love, fiction. Her novella, Candle’s Christmas Chair, was released in December 2014, and is in the top ten on several Amazon bestseller lists in the US and UK. Her first novel Farewell to Kindness, was released on 1 April, and is first in a series: The Golden Redepennings.

Buy links


Amazon UK

Amazon Aus


Barnes & Noble




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Jude’s Other Books (on Amazon)

Candle’s Christmas Chair (free novella):            

Farewell to Kindness (Book One, the Golden Redepennings):



Galloping Into Fiction

100_4288Okay so the elephants aren’t galloping and you were expecting a horse. Fiction’s like that. Today’s round robin topic is about how we use animals in our writing. Topic: Have you used pets or other animals in your stories? What function do they perform in the story? Do they need to have a function? Can they be a character?

Horses were the main means of transport in Georgian and Regency times (after shanks’s pony – ie your own two feet). As such they were highly prized and highly valued. It’s possibly not too strong to say a man looked after his horses as well or better than most of his staff. but I write from the woman’s pov with a bit of him included so how did she see her horse?

Mariah Fox in Mariah’s Marriage doesn’t ride, but she is very impressed by Toby’s vehicle when he arrives to take her driving. It’s also the case that Mariah’s opening scene is with an animal – she’s nearly up-ended by a charging pig. I loved that image and chose it because we in the West have lost sight of the close integration of animals and humans in earlier and growing cultures. The fine chap below was wandering the streets of Bikaner in Rajasthan. He doesn’t ‘belong’ to anyone. the cows, however, because they give milk, are ear-tagged and there are urban dairies where they are milked. There were also many pigs, but they moved a little fast for my photographic skills, so I haven’t got a photo. 100_5173 BELLA’S BETROTHAL contains a heroine of a different stamp. Brought up in an aristocratic, rather than intellectual, household, Bella has her own horse, Ruby. And it’s the missing of Ruby that eventually pushes her into behaviour that rouses her hero’s ire and potentially endangers her life. How many secrets and troubles did Bella pour into her horse’s listening ear? Life was circumscribed for aristocratic ladies and activities like riding were the things that allowed those of an active mind and disposition to retain a hold on sanity. How many of the women portrayed idle and ill on day-beds were neither? They were just bored and it was killing them.Daisys Dilemmal 333x500 The hero in my work in progress is a dog and horse man. He’s waiting for news from home of how many pups his bitches have bred. Why give him this angle? Shows his caring side, I think. My Round robin companions are writing on this subject today and you may want to drop along and see what they’re saying. Start with Robin herself, here: Rhobin Courtright and try a few others.

Beverley Bateman

Victoria Chatham

Connie Vines

Margaret Fieland

Rachael Kosinski

Kay Sisk

Judith Copek

Marci Baun

Diane Bator

Anne Stenhouse

Rhobin Courtright

skye Taylor

So, do you enjoy reading about animals in fiction? does it endear a character to you if they’re kind to the horses?

Conferring and what-not

Gala dinner Library

Gala dinner Library

The Romantic Novelists’ Association’s annual conference took place in Queen Mary University, Mile-end, London this year. Every worthwhile conference needs its Gala Dinner and ours is no exception hence my photograph above.

The serious work of the conference, however, was by no means overlooked. Jo Grassick has written a blog about the industry day on Friday 10th. That’s here I don’t need to repeat it.

I enjoyed two interviews with publishing houses and so did many others. People also went to 1-2-1s with several agents. then from 2pm on Friday the conference proper got underway.

I heard Hazel Cushion of Accent Press tell us what she like to hear in a pitch. Praising the House is good. but, seriously, they like a well-proofed ms. She recommends retired teachers and curiously one of my newly published friends received her only overt criticism from just such a one. Their guidelines are on their website and Hazel was really going over what anyone can find there.

Reasons for being turned down might include a ms that’s too similar to something just published or one that just isn’t good enough. Her senior editor Cat Comacha was asked about pet hates and she offered too many adjectives and over-writing.

Regent's Canal

Regent’s Canal

A walk along Regent’s canal was a welcome breath of fresh air. You have to be alert to cyclists, however, as the towpath is only one-horse wide.

An editors’ panel included the distinguished Jane Johnson (Harper Collins) who spoke about the extent to which an editor impacted on a writer’s work.

Welcoming us to her first conference as Chair of the RNA, Eileen Ramsay commended us all for braving the tube strike and recommended the Fabulous At Fifty volume (about the history of the RNA) we would find in our goody bags. Oh yes, we love goody bags and I hope many of you are using my Daisy’s Dilemma pen. From me to you with love. We always need a pen.

Jane Holland conducted a whirlwind tour of her many names and pseudonyms which left her audience breathless and collapsed in giggles equally. Jane is multi-published and the thrust of her argument is that separate names reduces the confusion for readers and publishers alike when a person writes in several genres.

One of the panels asked the question ‘Can writers be expected to write happily ever after?’ Caution was urged over signing away rights the publisher has no intention of using. While those rights are contracted – neither can the author.

There were also workshops aplenty. From author insights to how to dress a Victorian many aspects of the modern writer’s life were covered. There is so much involvement in social media that speakers like Prof Alison Baverstock were eagerly listened to.

Water lily

Water lily

Research is important for all writers and particularly for historical authors. Jean Fullerton illustrated her talk on the difficulties of writing in the 2Oth century with some telling slides. Not only do medievalists have few mss to refer to, but they are not trammeled by facebook, twitter, photograph archives etc. We had a good giggle over one or two of the posters Jean used, but they were maybe tinged by a little nervousness. It can be difficult to express idealogy which was current but is now unacceptable. We concluded it was best to let the secondary characters utter the words and hold the opinions.

Too soon, it was John’s champagne cocktails and Roger’s Quiz (lethal and fiendish, if that’s not too many adjectives). Friendships renewed or made, business liaisons undertaken, books bought, borrowed and swapped, ideas swimming…

Till next year in Lancaster, 8th – 10th July. See you then?