New Novel Writer
Sean: more about the Romani lad in the 'Rose' love triangle
FAQs about the importance of characters plus location and historical references
Sycamore Street (above) shows the raised causeway on the right, built along the wall bordering Blaby Hall - ready for the next flood of the stream that ran through the village.
Cottage Homes (below) on Hospital Lane Blaby is really in Countesthorpe.
It features in 'Missing Years' as well as 'The Sign of the Rose'
Q: Is Rose ('Missing Years' and 'Finding' Rose') related to Rosalee ('Sign of the Rose')?
A: Not directly and, if at all, she would be a very, very distant cousin or niece.
Until a 4th novel in the series is written, we are unsure as to which side of the two families Rose may be connected.
Q: Which book tells you more about the characters?
Probably 'Missing Years', as Sean comes more into the picture and we discover more of their emotional journey and how they intertwine.
He and his father also feature as being at the forefront of those involved in the building of Britain's revived road network - e.g. the motorways - in the 1960s.
This historical content enriches and lifts the dramatic elements of the story, as it maintains its pace against real events.
'Finding Rose' is about John's physical as well as emotional journey, and introduces new relationships he forms, outside from that he has with Rose.
Q: Are historical facts in the book true?
Let's say that it is all 'fiction' but drawn on actual events, locations, even characters.
For example, in 'Finding Rose', as the story takes us to the West Country, Plymouth and Teignmouth, we are presented with a world where social, cultural and economic change is an everyday occurrence.
That actually happened.
For instance, John stays in The Royal Hotel, Teignmouth and - allegedly (!) - stays in the same suite as George Harrison stayed when The Beatles were on The Magical Mystery Tour. How weird is that? And it's total fiction.
Our period in Plymouth embraces the building of the A38 dual carriageway (Devon Expressway) - a major road improvement in the '70s.
John and Sean (fiction) worked on the 'new' A38 (historical fact), so the location - along with other similar fact-based references - is used as a backdrop for the fictional action, whilst not reducing the pace of the storytelling.
Q: Which main locations are featured in each book?
A: Both 'Finding Rose' and 'Rose: The Missing Years' are set predominantly in Leicestershire and specifically the village of Blaby plus Wigston and Glen Parva.
There you will find references to its rich heritage and history, much of which is either forgotten or has never been recorded elsewhere.
'Missing Years' does not take you to the West Country until late on in the book, and depicts more of Sean's part in the overall story-line.
'Finding Rose' moves John away from Blaby soon after the beginning of the tale, where we spend enough time for the remainder of the book to discover more about Plymouth, Teignmouth and St Ives in Cornwall.
Q: Why are 'Finding Rose' and 'Missing Years' set in the 1960s?
Both books are played out against a 1960's background of optimism and progress, where the main characters are given unexpected opportunities and situations that shape their futures.
'Finding Rose' reflects on this 'mood' as it affects John, and how his career shapes.
'Missing Years' introduces Sean and his family in more depth, and how he, and those like him, were central to the progressive plans laid down in the 1960s for Britains increasing prosperity.
Again, all these factors produced a framework for the development of the story-lines, adding relevance and context whilst retaining the pace and excitement for an easy read.
Q: Is Sean in 'The Sign of the Rose' related to Sean in the later novels?
A: The 'later' Sean may be a distant cousin, but born 50 years after the death of his namesake.