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Novels:

Hallowed Ground

Elegy for a Queen

The Morning Promise

The Long Way Home

The Penny Bangle

The Silver Locket

The Golden Chain

A Touch of Earth

Fortune’s Favourite Child

The Treasures of Existence

The Snake Stone

A Green Bay Tree

A Special Inheritance

The Ash Grove

The Final Reckoning

This quarter’s judge is prolific novelist, Margaret James. Margaret was born and grew up in Hereford, which has been the actual or fictionalised setting for several of her novels. She studied English and Anglo-Saxon Archaeology at Queen Mary College, which is in the East End of London, at the time when the Kray twins were at the height of their power.

Margaret started her writing career with short stories for women’s magazines. She wasn’t very successful at first. She says this was because she hadn’t studied the magazines, and wasn’t thinking about the readers, what they would like and what kind of people they might be. But, once she had worked out who the typical reader of a particular magazine was likely to be, she began to sell her stories. learning a very important lesson – always think of your reader and what he/she might like, rather than what you think he/she ought to like.

She wrote her first novel, a family saga set in Herefordshire (write about what you know!), back in the 1980s, and has been writing fiction ever since.

At that time there were still lots of bomb sites which hadn’t been cleared after WW2. So, as you can imagine, that was a big culture shock for a teenager from a little cathedral city in the middle of nowhere. She now lives in Devon, where she intends to stay.

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