Melanie's Musings
February 20, 2012

An Interview with C.S. Winchester

C.S. Winchester is the author of two books.

  • Northern Light– A continuation of North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
  • What You Wish For– What happens when a 21st century woman gets plopped into the 1800s?

Enjoy the interview and scroll down to read about the giveaway!

When did you first read North and South?

Not that long ago, only about six months before I began writing the book.

If Mr. Thornton disappeared off the literary page (horror of horrors), what book character would replace him as the one to be fangirled over? Mr. Darcy? Someone else?

I think Mr Thornton already comes second to Darcy in most peoples eyes but for me, if not Thornton it would be a tie between Rochester and Darcy.

Are your books available in a print format as well as ebooks?

They are, from Amazon and all good online retailers. Northern Light‘s ISBN is 978-1463575434, and What You Wish For‘s ISBN is 978-1466457188.


Is Northern Light more of a sequel to the book by Elizabeth Gaskell or to the mini-series?

It’s a sequel to the book, so you won’t find events that happened in the mini-series referred to. However I realised that many readers wouldn’t have read the book so I did my best to marry the two endings up.

Thankfully the mini-series was fairly faithful to the book but there are a few areas where characterization differed. Thornton for example doesn’t appear to have any kind of temper in the book (and didn’t attack one of his workers, justified or otherwise) while in the book Margaret didn’t dislike him in the beginning, he was just completely outside her field of experience and she was largely indifferent to him. Any offense she gave was mostly unintentional, while in the mini-series she definitely disliked his character and at times wanted to verbally attack him.

There are other small details in the mini-series that don’t directly contradict the book but wouldn’t fit in with the sequel unless I went along with them. Watson being a mill owner for example. In the book his profession is never stated and his part is tiny, he’s mentioned only in passing as Fanny’s intended and for the speculation having been his idea. At the same time it’s never stated that he is not a mill owner, therefore I left that as his profession.

What would be the first thing you’d do if you were transported to the world of North and South like your main character in What You Wish For?

Check that I was rich! I do love period drama and completely understand the romanticism of a simpler time but the reality is that life pretty much sucked for everyone who didn’t have money! Thanks to poor food, dangerous working conditions and poor sanitation leading to illness, life expectancy for the working classes was low. In 1850’s average life expectancy for the working classes in Whitechapel, London was 22, while for the upper classes it was 45 years.

What modern amenities would you miss most?

Oh, this is so hard. High on the list would be the internet; almost all knowledge is just a few mouse clicks away and I would hate to go back to such an ignorant time without that resource.

Next would be mobile phones. I didn’t get my first mobile until I was 20 so I remember how many problems the inability to stay in touch caused. Even just visiting a shopping centre, people had to designate a “meet up” point in case they lost each other. A friends parents once invited me and my sister swimming when I was about 5. We arrived home to find the police there because our Mum thought we’d been abducted!

Finally, the ability to record and play music. I love all types music and that would be the pastime I missed most.

What book, other than your own, would you recommend to readers who loved North and South?

Well obviously if you haven’t read Pride and Prejudice or Jane Eyre I would recommend those for their dreamy heroes and feisty heroines. I enjoyed most Jane Austen books as well, not just P&P.

Other than that, Georgette Heyer and Charlotte Bingham seem popular among North and South fans.

Georgette Heyer is definitely a good fit for N&S fans.  Do you have any more books in progress?

Three actually. The third vampire book is in the editing stage. A standalone historical novel about a romance between an Earl’s son and a housemaid is nearly finished. I’m also trying a new series about a Muse (as in Greek mythology) and her human charge, but that one has been on the back burner for a while now.

Ms. Winchester is offering ebook copies of both her N&S novels to one lucky winner!  Please fill out this form:

This giveaway closes on February 23rd and is open to all readers with an Amazon Kindle.

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Posted by Melanie at 9:14 am – Comments (1)

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  • February 20th 2012

    Thank you so much for inviting me to be a part of your event. I’ve really enjoyed all the posts so far and I look forward to more.