Return to the King

This time last year, I headed back to Leicester for the first time since the weekend I’d been lucky enough to attend the service of Compline, when Richard III’s remains were carried into Leicester Cathedral, to lie until his reburial a couple of days later. I wrote about my visit on my blog at the time, and how it had been a lovely weekend, revisiting places at my own pace, rather than being caught up in the buzz surrounding the reburial.

During my visit, I started playing with the idea of setting a Kindred Spirits Short in Leicester, returning Richard’s ghost to the scene of both his burials, and seeing what he would make of things. It was fun, drafting up ideas for little scenes at each of the stops on the city’s Richard III Walking Trail, and how things might have changed since his day. Little did I know that my ideas would end up being part of an anthology, raising money for a charity which would no doubt have been close to Richard’s heart: The Scoliosis Association UK.

CarvingCoverWhen Alex Marchant first asked if I was interested in being involved, of course my answer was ‘yes’, and I knew just which story I wanted to submit for consideration: Return of the King. Seeing my KS Short in amongst some great pieces of fiction, all inspired by King Richard and his life and times, was such a thrill when the book (Grant me the Carving of My Name) was released last year, and if you haven’t read it yet, then I can highly recommend it; there really is something for everyone in it. And, hot off the press, as I was writing this, an email has just pinged in from Alex’s blog, announcing a call for submissions for the second collection! Now, wasn’t that perfect timing…

At the time, I was also working on scenes for what would become Kindred Spirits: York, which also features Richard III in the opening scenes, so I was definitely in the right place to be focusing on the man who has managed to become my muse!

I’ll let you in on a secret; he’s even wheedled his way into my current WIP, The Raided Heart, which I was not wholly suspecting… Of course, at the time of TRH, he’s only the Duke of Gloucester, not yet the king, but it will still be fun throwing a couple of references in there.

It’s funny how visiting or revisiting key places can inspire new stories; for me, last year’s visit led me to one of my most interesting shorts, which I thoroughly enjoyed writing. I hope you enjoy reading it too, and possibly submit something for the next collection…

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