Author Heather Shaw

mulberry fugueIt was as a child that Heather Shaw first began making up stories to entertain herself and later while working as a primary school teacher that she began to write them for others.

“It started really because most of the published material didn’t have parts for all the children and I wanted them all to be able to join in,” explained the Chesterfield author.

When she unexpectedly retired early aged 50 she decided it was the perfect time to try to get herself published.

Since then Heather, now 68, has written several community plays for the Holymoorside and Walton Arts Festival a collection of short stories, Brushstrokes, which was published in 2012 and now The Mulberry Fugue which is her first novel.

She has had stories published in magazines and read on the radio and she gets involved with local writers’ groups and the staging of workshops.

With The Mulberry Fugue now published Heather is already writing her second novel.

“The story and the characters of The Mulberry Tree had been in my head for about ten years and it has taken me two years to write,” she said.

“I refer to it as a why-dunit. The plot revolves around Mulberry House which is a B&B being managed by one of the characters, Daphne.

“The owner dies and she expects to be left the house but instead it is left to someone nobody in the community has ever heard of and they want to know why.”

The story brings together four characters whose lives intersect at the house on Romney Marsh in Kent close to where Heather herself was brought up.

Each of the characters must deal with the past before the past deals with them.

Heather weaves in three meanings for the word fugue into her story – a combination of musical pieces; the translation of flight in Italian and a psychiatric disorder revolving around memories and amnesia.

The book is available from Bannister Publications for £8.99 or through Amazon.