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Keighley features in historical drama
4:00pm Friday 17th January 2014 in News
Best-selling 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 Jessica unusual in the world of historical sagas is that the author is 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.
Born in Middlesbrough in 1923, Bill served during the Second World War as a bomb aimer on Lancasters.
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.
Also published this month will be the latest Jessica Blair paperback, In the Silence of the Snow, following two life-long friends to the Second World War.
Both books are published by Piatkus. Bill’s website is jessicablair.co.uk.