Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Winchester Goose - Coming Soon

I am just applying the finishing touches to The Winchester Goose now and it should reach the shelves in time for Christmas.
Writing this one has been a whole different experience to my other books. My confidence in it waxed and waned like the moon; sometimes I hated it and thought I should bin it, other times it seemed to be the best thing I have written so far.
As usual I am breaking all the rules, writing in the first person present tense but I make no apologies. My books are conceived in my head and nurtured in my  heart, they just sort of happen. Planning and rules go out of the window.
My characters are always flawed,  and the first person narrative, that gives voice to all those inner thoughts that we usually conceal, makes them human. 
You won't find many unstained characters in The Winchester Goose. Francis Wareham is a serial womaniser, thoroughly charismatic but incurably disloyal, and I have  made no attempt to dress him in prettier armour. 
I haven't hidden Joanie Toogood's flaws either. Probably the most endearing person in the book, Joanie is a prostitute from Southwark who, rather like a saucy Florence Nightinglae, seeks to nurture anyone who will let her. As a result her business flourishes and she is popular with both commoner and nobleman alike. Her downfall begins when she meets Francis and is unable to resist his boyish charm.
Although she is a bit of a bad girl, her  humanity is very close to the surface, and it is Joanie's uneducated observations of events at the Court of Henry VIII that make us smile.

Tudor London: 1540. Each night, after dark, men flock to Bankside seeking girls of easy virtue; prostitutes known as The Winchester Geese. Joanie Toogood has worked the streets of Southwark since childhood but her path is changed forever by an encounter with Francis Wareham, a spy for the King’s secretary, Thomas Cromwell.

Meanwhile, across the River Thames, at the glittering court of Henry VIII, Wareham also sets his cap at Evelyn and Isabella Bourne, members of the Queen’s household and the girls, along with Joanie, are drawn into intrigue and the shadow of the executioner’s blade.

Set against the turmoil of Henry VIII’s middle years, The Winchester Goose provides a brand new perspective of the happenings at the royal court, offering a frank and often uncomfortable observation of life at both ends of the social spectrum.

The Winchester Goose will be available on a Kindle near you very soon.
Paperback to follow in 2013.


  1. I like the sound of your gritty characters Judith. Good luck with it!

  2. thank you Deborah. I am getting close to publication date now, fingers crossed for Christmas!