An Article by Ruth Danes
Since childhood, I have been interested in both stories and history. When I was a little girl, I wrote and illustrated little books made from folded pieces of A4 paper. In my teens, I wrote a few truly awful novels and tried, unsuccessfully, to get them published. They will never see the light of day again!
As I grew older, my education grew more demanding and I had less time to write. I forgot about my childhood dreams of being a published author.
I studied modern languages at university and this course included spending a year abroad. I split the academic year between two universities in two different countries, where I studied amongst local and other international students.
This year had a great influence on me. It was very tough at times. I was lonely, suffered a breakup and my health was poor. However, there were amazing times too. I made many friends, had experiences I would never have otherwise enjoyed and I matured more in those months than I did in any equivalent time period.
The experience of adapting to foreign, unfamiliar environments, where I knew nobody and I had to speak languages in which I was not then completely fluent inspired me to write North of the Azores. When I finished the novel, I realized I had not finished telling the story and the tale continued in Life on Another Island and The Heiress to the Fairy Tales. I finally said goodbye to this world in a spin-off, Transtime.
North of the Azores is alternate history and it was only inspired by my experiences abroad. It is not based on any facts.
The story opens in 1780 on a group of fictional islands, The Devil’s Isles, which have recently been conquered by Britain. The islands are a strange place where magic and human and animal sacrifice are practiced. Matriarchal royalty rules the islands and the heroine, Nebula, is one of its princesses. Nebula is aware of a plot to blow up everyone and everything on the islands as a final act of resistance. She is no friend of the British but she does not want to die and she has long been questioning what she has been taught. Thus, she makes the life-changing decision to defect. North of the Azores is the tale of her adventures.
Written by Ruth Danes
Ruth Danes is a pseudonym because writing fiction is a private part of my life.
I live in the heart of England and I work in administration. When I am not at work or busy with my imaginary friends, I like to dance, travel and walk in the countryside with good companions.
I have written a series called Life on Another Island.
North of the Azores is the first novel in the series. It is published by Rogue Phoenix Press and it is for sale on Amazon. The tale continues in Life on Another Island and concludes with The Heiress to the Fairy Tales. The Heiress to the Fairy Tales will be published on 1st February 2019. A spin-off, Transtime, will be published on 8th June 2019.
My website can be found at https://www.ruthdanes.com and I am on Twitter @DanesRuth