Diney Costeloe has written 15 books – a mixture of romance and historical fiction – and her latest, The Married Girls, will hit paperback stands in May.
She spent five minutes telling Book and Brew about her latest release.
Like many of your books, The Married Girls takes place during World War II. What fascinates you so much about that period?
It’s a period that my parents and grandparents lived through and, over the years, I’ve heard many stories of the war and the Blitz. My grandmother was an air raid warden in London, my mother lived in London and was pregnant during the autumn of 1940, the height of the Blitz, so although I have no first-hand experience of it myself, I have plenty of family folklore that interests me.
Each book is steeped with historical information and vivid period detail. What is your research process for investigating the times your writing about?
I like to read accounts written by people who were actually there; letters, memoirs, autobiographies. They know exactly what it was like and have little anecdotes and small details that I can draw on and perhaps incorporate into my stories within the fictitious narrative. The Internet is an amazing research tool and has made researching a book much easier as one can discover so much more without having to haunt libraries for the relevant books. Having said that, if I find a book of particular relevance, I do try and get my own
The internet is an amazing research tool and has made researching a book much easier as one can discover so much more without having to haunt libraries for the relevant books. Having said that, if I find a book of particular relevance, I do try to get my own copy so I can mark it up for further reference.
You started out writing romantic fiction as Diney Delancey. Why did you move to historic fiction and would you ever go back?
I actually started by writing short stories and articles for magazines, but I entered the BBC Woman’s Hour romantic novel competition and went on from there. However, when the publisher I wrote for closed the series, I decided to try to write something different. I’ve always enjoyed history and historical novels, so I decided to write one myself. I loved it and I doubt if I would go back to straight romances.
What’s next for you now that The Married Girls has been published?
I’m currently working on my next book – fingers crossed for that one!