Iris Lloyd explains more about her “now or never” approach to writing, having written her first novel at the age of 70 and just published her latest.
My Lady Marian, my eighth novel, has just been published. It tells the story of Marian who arrives at the court of Henry VIII at the age of 15 and later becomes lady-in-waiting to Katharine of Aragon then Anne Boleyn.
I have been writing all my life – stories, poems, pantomimes, as village correspondent for the Newbury Weekly News – but had never tackled a novel. When I reached the age of 70, I thought: “Now or never!”
At that time, I lived in Beedon, north of Newbury, and was helping to excavate a site on the downs that had been active all through the Roman occupation. Our “finds” included a thousand bronze and two gold coins, Samian pottery, jewellery, a Medusa medallion and a rare fish brooch (a sign of Christian activity), as well as the skeletons of a dog, one adult and more than 50 babies.
Inspired by this site, my first five novels tell the story of Bron, who was born and brought up there, who travels to Rome in pursuit of her young Roman officer lover, then returns home to a new village being built where Beedon now stands.
My sixth novel, Flash Black, takes place during the reign of Elizabeth I. There followed Hunterswick Green, a contemporary novel set in a new housing complex that is advertised as perfect but hides a secret.