Tag Archives: anglophile

A SOUTHERN GIRL WHOSE BRITISH ROOTS ARE SHOWING

So, this is a blog post I’ve been wanting to write for some time (and a podcast episode) and now that I am back on a roll with my postings, I thought, well, here it goes.

I mentioned a few days ago in a podcast episode that I did about who I am, the episode titled “Who’s the Chick?”, that I’ve been a huge Anglophile since I was very young.

That being said, I am now ready to admit that I used a large portion of my life defiantly wanting to ignore my Southern roots. Before you go off on a tangent and blast me for that, let me explain . . . let me do some ‘splainin’.

I don’t know if any of you are like me but my obsession with all things British had me craving to live there, speak with the accent, decorate my home in Georgia in a Tudor style, and read as many historical fiction books about England that I could possible absorb. I’ve taken three trips to Britain over the years and I cannot deny the overwhelming feeling that I belonged, somehow. I truly felt that the desire was more than an obsession. I felt at home walking down the streets of Windsor or Stratford or London, or riding the train to Salisbury, or simply sitting in Hyde Park to relax. I definitely could be an expatriate living in the UK.

I think of how Robert Browning felt in his poem “Home Thoughts, From Abroad”, even though he spoke of his homeland, the words resonate with me.

Oh, to be in England
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England—now!

I think that is why I started writing historical fiction since I already read about Britain all the time, the next step made perfect sense. After all, writing and reading is an escape from our life (which I use to the fullest sense in my new novel awaiting publication – Kingfisher – which tells the life of a bibliophile obsessed with another time and place).

That being said, I must confess I have spent many years heckled by my husband over my desire that people not know of my Southern roots. Honestly, I hated my drawl, LOL, and I hated living in the South, which I know will cause all kinds of comments and opinions.

But before anyone says anything, this post is about my finally coming to terms and feeling comfortable about where I live and how I sound. I even created a podcast using my own voice so people can get to know the real me. A little bit of a disclaimer here: I used an actresses’ voice on a few opening podcast episodes just so I could get comfortable with the new medium and to see how podcasting works. From now on, you will hear me, the real me, without any filters or British inflections. In other words, I won’t talk like Jersey-born Madonna living in the UK and adopting a slight British speak.

The closest I ever got to that is a game my kids and I played. Sometimes when we were shopping, I would say ‘OK, today is talk like a Brit day’ and we would have to go around pretending we were British for the entire day. It was fun and I think with my Southern-twang accounts for some of the strange looks I received sometimes.

That used to bother me, now, however, I suppose due to age or resignation, I fully embrace my Southern heritage, my voice and where I live. I have written one historical book about my area called “Child of Love & Water” which involves the 18th-century history of Jekyll Island Georgia, but that is about as far as I’ve gone in writing about my home. I know they say that writers should write what they know, and perhaps I might one day, but while I am acknowledging and accepting my Southernness, I am not going to abandon those British roots that show ever day in who I am as a person and as a writer. After all, I really do have British roots, my family ancestry is from Wales and Scotland with very British surnames such as Jones, Talley, Wall, Wynn, and Wauchope.

Those early days of six and seven when I obsessively played the Beatles over and over again started me on the path of who I am. I was Alice in Wonderland then, and I am still her today.

So, here is my confession and my all-embracing post about being a true Southern girl with British roots. Yes, I talk with a twang, and yes, I love Britain. I hope you enjoy the combination!!

Who’s the Chic?

Hi, my name is D. K. Marley and I am the Historical Fiction Chick!

I’ve always loved reading books since I can remember. I think my first favorite book was Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. I remember watching the Disney movie over and over again, reading the book over and over, and then acting out the stories while I played on my granddaddy’s little farm in South Georgia.

I don’t know why but I developed a curious fascination with all things British, even as early as six and seven years old. My mom had several Beatles albums that I played on my little record player and I always tried to mimic their way of talking. My grandmother was also a huge Anglophile and an English Literature teacher, so when I turned eleven and she caught me perusing the pages of her college Lit book and her Shakespeare book, she promptly gave them both to me as gifts and set me on the path. Then, when my mom introduced me to the Victoria Holt series when I was about thirteen, I was hooked with historical fiction. Later on, in high school, I read “The Far Pavilions” and started writing my first novel (which I never published).

Years went by after graduation. I married and had my daughter, then took up writing again while she took her naps. In the vein of The Far Pavilions, I wrote a story about a young girl growing up in Kashmir, half-blooded with a British father and an Indian mother, whose mother and father both die in the Indian mutiny. She is shipped off to Britain to distant relatives she has never met and begins to suffer the cruelty of prejudice and hate. Anyway, it also became a novel that never left the manuscript phase but I like to think they both were my testing ground.

It wasn’t until 1997, my husband and I set off on our anniversary trip to London. We arrived there the month after the death of Princess Diana. I will never forget the sight of seeing the candle wax still embedded in the pebbled walkway in front of Kensington Palace.

During the trip we took a side-trip to Stratford-upon-Avon and to the Globe Theatre in London. While there, they were having some sort of museum exhibition about Shakespeare and one of the walls featured five men who might have been contenders for writing the plays attributed to him. Needless to say, I had never heard the idea but something intrigued me. I said while standing there, “Well, this might make an incredible story!” I took out a pen and some scrap paper and started writing notes, especially about Christopher Marlowe whose eyes seem to draw me in that day.

My journey began that day. After thirteen years of writing, rewriting, setting aside, getting frustrated, almost giving up, going to writing retreats, trashing a lot of the storyline, and more rewriting, I published a small run in 2010 just for family and friends. Sort of testing out if I even was going in the right direction. Some interest but something was still not quite right. I set it aside for another five years.

In 2015, my life changed overnight. The night of the Super Bowl, I lost my daughter, son-in-law, and unborn grandbaby to a stupid drunk driver who was running from the police. My kids were on their way home from a Super Bowl party and were only one mile from their house. Grief changes you irrevocably. After years of grief therapy and wanting to completely give up, my therapist suggested I start writing again,; first, a small journal to my daughter; then second, something that I enjoyed writing about before. After months of writing in the journal, I finally took the old manuscript of “Blood and Ink” off the shelf and did an entire revamp of the story.

I contemplated searching for an agent and going the traditional route but with the suddenness of losing my kids and the fragileness of life still fresh in my mind, I decided to take back my own power and self-publish which I did in May of 2018. Things progressed very quickly. By December I had it in ebook, paperback, hardcover, and Audible (thanks to the incredible vocal stylings of Mr. Jonathan Dixon) and at the end of the year I received the first award from The Coffee Pot Book Club for the Bronze Medal for Best Historical Fiction for “Blood and Ink”. My feet found their path and my eyes were focused on the next three books. “The Prince of Denmark”, “Child of Love & Water”, and “The Fire of Winter” all followed in succession and this crazy year of 2020 the first of my new historical time-travel will come out.

So, I guess you can say I found my voice through tragedy which is very appropriate for a Shakespeare-lover. Every word I write now is for and because of my kids and for my grandmother who set me on the path.

Welcome, Historical Fiction Fans!

Hello!

First of all, let me introduce myself . . . my name is D. K. Marley and I am a historical fiction author with a special interest in Shakespearean adaptations, British historical fiction, alternate histories, and historical time-travel. (Yes, you guessed it, I am a true Anglophile living in the United States and dreaming of selling enough books to buy a house in Warwickshire!)

What I hope to accomplish with this blog? It is my goal to provide a unique point-of-view on historical fiction, providing readers with new recommendations, new releases, and read-worthy details (sometimes obscure) tucked within the U.K.’s history.

As this blog progresses, I will offer author services, such as: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter promotions; Blog Tours; Book Reviews; Author Spotlights; Newly Hatched Releases; and end-of-the-year Book Awards for books I read during the year.

For now, though, as I build my readership, blogging is my focus and British history is the theme. If you would like to submit an article, please contact me at histficchickie@gmail.com!