North Somerset author’s debut book

PUBLISHED: 15:05 14 January 2013

Stuart Hammond

Stuart Hammond

Stuart Hammond

THE streets of Elizabethan Bristol and the surrounding area come to life in a North Somerset author’s first book.

Stuart Hammond has released Minion, a meticulously researched and gripping tale based on actual events, and is already thoroughly immersed in writing its sequel.

It follows Sir Thomas Scrope, who arrives in Bristol in 1574 and finds the city crippled by a ban on Spanish trade and riven by a conflict between merchants and craftsmen.

With the build-up to the Spanish Armada in the background, Scrope becomes entwined in a conspiracy to strike against Protestantism, England and Queen Elizabeth I.

Throwing in a civil uprising, a kidnapping, plotting, intrigue and murder, Minion vividly brings to life 16th century Bristol and the skulduggery of Elizabethan politics.

A self-employed consultant specialising in supply chains and purchasing, Stuart decided to write the book when he was between contracts.

He said: “I was talking to a friend and former colleague and she asked ‘what would you like to do’?

“My reply was ‘write a book’. It just came out of the blue. When we talked about it ideas just came flooding out, then she said ‘well you had better write something to see whether you can’.

“I opened up my laptop and just started writing. 1,500 words later she read it and said ‘not bad, now you have to finish it.’

“So I did.”

The book took two years to complete, and Stuart, from Yatton, said making sure the book was accurate was vitally important.

He added: “I cannot just write something and hope it is correct. It niggles until I check to make sure it’s accurate. If you don’t you are short-changing your readers. Everything I write either happened or could have happened.

“Because Minion is part of a series, not only does it have to be internally consistent, it also has to have continuity with the other books.”

He is currently working on the sequel to Minion, Serpentine, which features real-life characters such as Queen Elizabeth, Robert Dudley and Mary, Queen of Scots, and is set in Bristol, the Midlands, London and the strongholds of the Barbary corsairs.

Minion is available now in selected book stores and online from Amazon.

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