Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Guest Post - Sarah P J White

I'm very pleased to welcome Sarah to the Snig's Foot as a guest blogger.

Here, Sarah tells us a little about the location for her new novel, The Last Angel:

I’m delighted to accept Rob’s request to guest on his blog, as part of ‘The Last Angel’ blog tour. The tour will be running for the whole of March, and I will be appearing on various sites – some in the form of author interview, maybe the odd book review and others – like this post – will be specific subjects given to me by the blog host.
So, without further ado, I’d like to share my some information about Thatcham, the setting for my latest novel.
You may wonder why I decided to use Thatcham as the location of ‘The Last Angel’, a book that focuses on Crystal’s struggle with her destiny, her background and the reality and half truth behind the oldest book – The Bible.
Little known town with a long history
You can be forgiven for not knowing anything about Thatcham after all; it only has a population of approximately 23,000. Sitting next to the larger town of Newbury – and with Reading only twenty minutes down the road, it is easily swamped by these larger places.
But Thatcham has its’ own claim to fame – and a place in the Guinness Book of Records – it’s the oldest continually inhabited place in the country. This makes it an ideal place to base a story that has its roots in questioning the origins of the oldest book – the Bible.
The Colthrop part of Thatcham has been an industrial and agricultural site since the Doomsday Survey of 1086. Originally a cloth mill, it then became a paper mill in 1740. I’m sure Colthrop will become more relevant in books two and three, as Crystal’s call for allies spreads and a new base will be needed.
Churches and Chapels
The chapel of St Thomas, otherwise known as Old Bluecoat School, is the only Grade 1 listed building in Thatcham and was originally built in 1304. There is also a Grade 2 stone built church, St Mary’s, originating from about 1141AD, built on the possible remains of a Saxon church dating from c.675AD.
St Mary’s has been fictionalised in ‘The Last Angel’ book one of The Account Trilogy, with its location remaining the same but its name being changed to St Barnabas and its orientation from Church of England to Catholic.
Douai Abbey
Just 5 miles down the road, Douai Abbey is home to the English Benedictine congregation of monks. Originally founded in France in 1615, they were first uprooted by the French Revolution and again in 1903, when the returned to take up permanent residence.
In The Account Trilogy, Douai Abbey will be the setting of some of the scenes in book two and three, as Crystal is waging war against not only the government, but the Catholic Church too.
My Thanks
I’d like to extend my thanks to Rob for agreeing to be part of my blog tour, and for allowing me to guest post on his blog – I hope you enjoyed it.
Contact Sarah & more information on ‘The Last Angel’
If you’d like to contact me, find out more information on my latest novel ‘The Last Angel’ or ask me a question, please feel free to do so through my website:


Robert Crompton said...

thanks for being a guest on my blog. You have kindled my interest in your book so I'm looking forward to reading it soon.

Patsy said...

I used to live in Thatcham - didn't know it was the oldest continually inhabited place in England though.

lizy-expat-writer said...

Your mention of the Bluecoats caught my eye. My two brothers were Bluecoat boys at Christs Hospital School in Horsham, as was my son a generation later. I wonder if they are the same lot?

lizy-expat-writer said...

Rob - if you look on my blog you will see that I have passed on to you the Reality Blog Award because you set your books in real places.

Robert Crompton said...

Hey, thanks, Liz! I'll post my response later in the day.

Sarah White said...

Thanks for hosting me Rob - it was a pleasure - and congrats on winning Lizy's Reality Blog Award! Patsy - it surprised me too, but I guess somewhere had to be the oldest!