Today I welcome guest author, Sue Fortin, to Anneli’s Place. Sue will tell us a bit about her new novel, “Closing In.”
Having lived in West Sussex for most of my life, I really enjoy incorporating the local area into my novels. With “Closing In” which is to be released on 15 May, I used the backdrop of two neighbouring villages, Felpham and Middleton-on-Sea. I thought I would share some pictures of the setting.
The beginnings of a storm at Felpham October 2013. My book is set in the autumn, and I thought this picture reflected the setting perfectly.
A lovely sunset of the beach at Middleton-on-Sea. Mentioned in the Doomsday Book, Middleton, as it was then referred to, has in the past provided great opportunities for smuggling. With its gently sloping beach and the Elmer sluice, it was a favourite spot for bringing contraband ashore. In 1745 it was reported that five tonnes of tea was brought onto the beach and during this incident 36 smugglers were arrested.
However, Middleton was not destined to remain. It is believed that up to two-thirds of the village was reclaimed by the sea, with the medieval church succumbing to a high tide in 1838.
Brightly painted beach huts are found along Felpham sea front. There has long been a debate as to the correct pronunciation of Felpham, whether the ‘ph’ should be a hard sound (Felf-fm) or whether it should be softer like ‘Felp-am’ with an almost silent ‘h’.
Poet William Blake lived in Felpham for three years whilst writing his poem Milton. He also shared his thoughts on the village itself …
Away to sweet Felpham for heaven is there:
The Ladder of Angels descends through the air
On the turrett its spiral does softly descend
Through the village it winds, at my cot it does end.
Blake had been invited to Felpham by local resident William Hayley, also a noted writer. Hayley was so famous in his day that he was offered the position of poet laureate 1790, but turned it down.
Helen has had to leave everything she’s ever known behind; her home, her family, even her own name.
Now, returning to the UK as Ellen Newman, she moves to a small coastal village, working as a nanny for Donovan, a criminal psychologist. Attractive, caring and protective, this single father and his sweet daughter are a world away from Ellen’s brutal past. She thinks she’s escaped. She thinks she’s safe.
But Ellen can’t shake the feeling that something’s wrong.
Strange incidents begin to plague her new family, and their house of calm is about to become one of suspicion and fear. Who can be trusted? Who is the target? Who is closing in?
About the Author
Sue Fortin was born in Potters Bar, Herts, but had a rather nomadic childhood, moving often with her family before finally settling in West Sussex, where she now lives on the south coast. Before taking to writing seriously, Sue had various secretarial jobs, eventually settling as a PA at a high street bank for 13 years.Having said goodbye to the world of banking to look after her family, Sue published her debut novel ‘United State of Love’ in 2012 and is now looking forward to publication of her second book ‘Closing In.’
You can find out more about Sue Fortin and her second novel, “Closing In” by clicking on the link to her blog:
Thank you for inviting me onto your blog, Anneli.
Always a pleasure, Sue.
Sue, your story sounds spooky. Thanks for the great pictures.
Thank you Darlene, there is a mystery surrounding it all, more sinister than spooky. 🙂
I love that William Blake’s house is nearby! What a unique looking place it is.
It is a very small cottage, but the flint work and thatched roof are very typical of the older buildings in Felpham village.
This sounds like a good story, Sue! I love using photographs as writing prompts and also seeing where stories are set. Felpham looks enchanting. Thanks for this!