Deirdre is the author and photographer of four popular outdoor guidebooks for Vertebrate Publishing and she has also produced films exploring the varied history of Saddlescombe Farm for the National Trust. The MA Creative Writing at Bath Spa has helped channel her ambitions to write fiction and she received a Distinction for her manuscript The Howl of the Waves. This coming-of-age story, inspired by the people and landscape of the South Downs, is high-end women’s commercial fiction. After the death of her mother, Martha Shaw returns to the family farm where she must learn to survive amidst the rural underworld of
After the death of her mother, Martha Shaw returns to the family farm where she must learn to survive amidst the rural underworld of eighteenth-century Sussex. Her life is precarious and her inner thoughts in turmoil as she wrestles with the fact that the crime lord controlling the local smuggling trade is her father. She has conflicted feelings about excise officer, Ned, and sailor, Michael: the complexity of her attraction to one and the apparent security offered by the other. This world of secrets and deceits is presented in contrast to the practical routine of a struggling farm, where rose hips must be picked before winter, where farm girls are treated as chattels and family affection has to be sacrificed to dire necessity.