The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Welcome to one of my favourite authors, the fabulous Jean Fullerton...

Hi Jean! I am so thrilled to have you visit my blog today - Jean and I became quick and firm friends when we met at the 2010 Romantic Novelists Association conference in Greenwich. Since then I have called on Jean for help with my own Victorian novels, purely because I love and admire her books so much. I am proud to call you my friend, lovely lady! Let's start with my questions...

Hi, Rachel, thank you for hosting me on your website today and what a interesting set of questions. 
1.)                What did you want to be when you grew up?
A costume designer and I nearly was. Because of my love of history and all things historical I was glued to our black and white TV set whenever anything historical was showing. All the women of my family worked in the Rag Trade as machinists and I made all my own clothes so when I left school I followed in their footsteps and got a job as a designer’s assistant in one of the clothing factories in Aldgate. After learning how to draft and cut patterns for new designs I decided to apply for an apprenticeship with Berman's And Nathan's the big constumiers in London.  I got the post too, but sadly the £4 15/- per week they were offering wasn’t enough for me to live on so I had to turn it down.

2.)                Coffee, tea or hot chocolate?
Tea for me, please. Milk no sugar. 

3.)                What genre do you typically read? Why?
That’s a tricky one as I’m happy to read anything that holds my interest. For contemporary fiction I’d go for Carole Matthews, Jill Mansell or Julie Cohen and I do like a bit of crime but my real love is well-written and historically-accurate story that transport me back in time. I’ve found a couple of new authors recently Paul Fraser Collard and William Ryan’s his Korolev series set in 1930s Stalin Russia but as I say I’m open to offers and like to discover new authors   

4.)                Do you have any shameless addictions? ie. Tea, Books, Shoes, Clothes?
Matching underwear I’m always buying new sets. When my three daughters were younger and money was tight I used to have to make do with washed out miss-matched undies but not anymore. I know if I ever got knocked down and taken to hospital I’d have a great many things to worry about but thankfully, my underwear wouldn’t be one of them.   

5.)                What do you think is the biggest challenge of writing a new book?
Getting to know the characters and that normally take the first 1/3 of the book after which the writing becomes quicker. By then I’ve already established in the readers mind the world my protagonists inhabit so I don’t have to describe everything again and as I get to know them they start to give their own responses to situations. 

6.)                Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages a day?

I try to get at least a scene done each day. That usually works out to about 1200 – 1400 words but if possible I like to push on to do hall of the next before I finish for the day. Of course it doesn’t always work out like that but if I don’t set a target time would just slip by. I write a log for each day of what I’m going to do so perhaps admin 9.30 – 11 then a bit of social media until 12 then lunch followed by four hours of writing between 1.30 and 5.30 then another couple of hours after dinner from 7 – 9 after which I flop in the armchair alongside the Hero at Home to catch up on some TV.  

7.)                What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
Readers love them and so do I. They allow you and your readers to follow your characters through various stages of their lives and it’s very satisfying. However, there are a couple of the drawbacks for the writer is you can get stuck there and too comfortable but the big problem is you can get bored. Luckily, after 4 books of my Victorian East London series I was asked to jump forward 100 years and write the East London Nurse series and now I’ve been contracted to write a World War 2 East London series title and released to be announced later this year. The wealth of research into such a fascinating period of East London’s history will keep me engrossed for a while, I’m sure.

 Thanks again for inviting me, Rachel. XX  


It's 1948 and the nurses of the East End of London are making the most of life post-war. For Connie in particular, things are looking rosy as she looks forward to planning a future with her sweetheart, Malcolm. But, as many a young bride-to-be has proved, the course of true love never did run smooth and Connie finds herself having to grapple with interfering mothers and Malcolm's reluctance to set the date.
But while there are many obstacles to overcome before walking down the aisle, at least Connie can relax in the knowledge that she'll soon be married to the man of her dreams, can't she?
Life at work isn't all smooth sailing either. The newly-formed NHS is keeping the nurses of Fry House extremely busy and as ever in the life of a nurse heartbreak lurks at every turn. But there are some new faces to keep things interesting. And one in particular might be the answer to all of Connie's problems...

Writing about Jean’s earlier books readers have said:
‘A delightful, well researched story that depicts nursing and the living conditions in the East End at the end of the war’ (Lesley Pearce)

‘...The writing shines off the page and begs for a sequel’ (Historical Novel Society)

‘…you will ride emotional highs and lows with each new birth and death. Beautifully written with some sharp dialogue.’ (THE LADY)

‘5 star read! Going on my Top Reads for 2014!’ Dizzy C book blogger

‘I just love Jean Fullerton's books - they are so evocative of a time gone-by in the East End of London.’ Chris a Reader

Wedding Bells for Nurse Connie available in paperback and kindle from WHS, Waterstones, all good bookshops and supermarkets and from Amazon:

Visit Jean’s website on

or Twitter @JeanFullerton__   

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