Author sets part of new book plot in Keighley

‘Jessica Blair’ aka Bill Spence

‘Jessica Blair’ aka Bill Spence

First published in News

Bestselling novelist Jessica Blair has set part of ‘her’ latest book in Keighley.

The Lincolnshire-born heroine of A Tapestry of Dreams, set in the 1850s, marries the owner of a Keighley mill.

What makes the author unusual in the world of historical sagas is that Jessica Blair is the pseudonym of a 90-year-old man.

Bill Spence’s publisher renamed him Jessica Blair after his first historical saga was accepted, and he has since achieved great success in the female-dominated genre.

At the time he was already a full-time writer, after publishing 36 Western novels over the previous four decades.

He wrote his first short story, while travelling to Rhodesia, and went on to write newspaper and magazine articles before embarking on his first novel.

The latest novel, A Tapestry of Dreams, follows the fortunes of Susanna Charlesworth, daughter of a wealthy Lincolnshire landowner.

She makes a disastrous marriage to the Keighley mill owner, and realises that escape will leave her a social outcast who has lost everything.

Also published this month will be the latest Jessica Blair paperback, In the Silence of the Snow, following two friends to the Second World War.

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