I spent most of my childhood in Cleveland and North Yorkshire, where my father was a vicar. Many of my fiction ideas come from the rich sources of history and mythology, still very much alive in that area. I have three grown up children and am now a doting grandmother, living in Whitby with my architect husband Tom.
As a child I loved drawing, painting and dancing and it was only as an adult that I began to write and illustrate stories for my children.
The beautiful Victorian and Edwardian photographs of Frank Meadow Sutcliffe inspired my first historical novel THE FLITHER PICKERS. Since then Iíve spent a great deal of time researching for historical themes. Occasionally this has taken me far from home, as with my Young Adult novels MOON RIDERS and VOYAGE OF THE SNAKE LADY, for which I visited Hisarlik in modern Turkey, once thought to be Troy.
LOST IN THE DARK AGES
Over the last few years Iíve become fascinated by the Anglo-Saxon period and have spent time researching this era, for novels for both children and adults.
My interest in the Dark Ages was hugely boosted by Archaeologist Steve Sherlockís discovery of a mysterious Saxon Princess burial with gold and garnet jewellery, on the cliffs near Loftus, close to where I lived as a young child. The finds from Steveís digs are now part of an exciting exhibition in Kirkleatham Museum near Redcar and Iím pleased to say that my Anglo-Saxon - Young Adult novel WOLF GIRL is now on sale in the museum shop. The important discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard - made by Terry Herbert with his metal detector, encouraged me further and widened my initial interest in the ancient Kingdom of Northumbria, to take in the Anglo-Saxon history of Mercia and eventually East Anglia too.
Iíve recently returned to a time period and setting close to my heart and have begun work on a Young Adult novel set in the harsh world of Victorian Whitby Jet workers Ė please see my blog for latest developments.
Kirkleatham Museum www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/rcbmuseums
A great historical fiction website www.carlanayland.org
Click (here) to find out more about my past work.