Carving a New Shape
by Rhiannon Grant
Released: Sep 04, 2023
Genre: Historical Romance
Why this book and why now?
When I was writing it last year it felt like the right time to return to the world in which I set my first novel, Between Boat & Shore, and also time to bring a new twist to that world with younger characters who make naive mistakes on their way to carving out a rightly-shaped space for themselves.
What is a significant way your book has changed since either the first draft or the way you thought it would turn out when you first had the inspiration?
This book came a long way from its roots as an idea for a Sherlock Holmes fanfic! The only element which really survived is having a main character who commits a crime – in this case, stealing – for a motive that the reader can sympathise with – in this case, wanting to be close to someone she’s attracted to, but not knowing how to express that.
What 3 things would your main character want with them if they got stranded away from civilization, and why?
Both of them are probably already carrying what they need – their stone knives and hand axes, and the knowledge of their local woods and shores which would let them forage for food easily. They’d want to be together, of course, and if they were they’d probably be pretty happy with this scenario!
One of your main characters is planning a romantic night. Tell us about it.
Bokka tries to think everything through in advance. She is planning the evening from the minute she wakes up in the morning: she grinds the day’s wheat into flour with the evening meal in mind, she checks on the lambs and puts the finishing touches on a bone bead she’s been polishing, and goes to the cliffs to find some seabird eggs for a treat. Then when it’s almost sunset and Laki gets back from her visit to the village, Bokka has a whole spread ready to eat. Instead of explaining, she just hands Laki the bead and lets the smell of freshly-baked bread speak for itself.
Publishing a book is a huge accomplishment and it’s time to party! Choose a celebratory beverage for one of your main characters to toast the release of your new book.
Options are a bit limited for Laki and Bokka in Neolithic Britain – they wouldn’t have grapes or coffee beans, and they probably made their oats into porridge rather than milk! Instead, ale is their drink of choice for special occasions – made by getting wheat to germinate just slightly (so it’s got lots of sugar in) before heating and fermentation. One of their neighbours, at Wyre on Orkney, had a fire in a granary or malting barn which preserved the remains of the grain for archaeologists to find, so we know a little bit about their process for this.