Writer Of The Week: Sarah Swatridge

Sarah’s fantastic Pocket Novel, “The Gentleman Gypsy” is out on Thursday. We had a chat with her.

Tell us about your PN “The Gentleman Gypsy”.

“The Gentleman Gypsy”, set in 1905, tells of Ruth who has to fend for herself once her father, the vicar, dies. Eventually she becomes a housekeeper to the eccentric Newham. He has a menagerie of animals and spends much of his time travelling in a makeshift ‘house on wheels’. Nevertheless, he is a good and generous master and a mutual respect develops between them which grows from fondness into love.

What sort of research did you do before putting the words down?

Initially I set the scene for myself by noting who would be on the throne, who was prime minister, any world events that might have an affect on my characters. This story was inspired by a local character and fortunately there are some photos of his early ‘caravan’.

At one point in the story, Newham gives Ruth a bicycle, so not only did I have to research the history of bicycles but also what a woman would wear in order to ride one!

Do you have a favourite historical era to write about?

My favourite era to write about is roughly between 1850 and 1915, although I have written stories set in 1761 and several short stories set in the 1940s.

Sarah’s Pocket Novel is out on Thursday.

Do you enjoy reading historical fiction?

I love reading historical fiction. Philippa Gregory’s later books are a mine of information and I’m gradually working my way through C J Sansom’s Shardlake series. I also love Cadfael – the medieval monk/detective written by Ellis Peters.


Thank you, Sarah! To meet more of our writers, click here.


Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, Tracey has found her perfect place on The Friend as she’s obsessed with reading and never goes anywhere without a book! She reads all the PF stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!