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The cover of Beth Linton’s first book The Guardians’ Trust: Anna.

And now the University of Chester English graduate has realised a lifelong dream having not only published the first three books in her debut romance novel series, but also being commissioned to write two more for the collection.

Inspired by living in Wrexham, on the Welsh-English border, the book is part of a romance series and it is steeped in local history and mythology.

Beth, who gained a Master’s in Creative and Critical Writing in 2008, explained: “When my son started school I decided to stay working part-time and use the gained school hours to write rather than returning to full-time employment. I began to look into local history and Celtic (and wider) mythology. From there I came up with the idea for The Guardians’ Trust. The romance series has both fantasy and paranormal features and the story germinated from this historical, cultural and local research.

“The central idea linking these aspects is the idea of the doppelganger – the idea of doubles. In my series women are born identical, one in this world, one in another realm and it is their fate to change places and make an arranged marriage with the man Mother Nature birthed as her mate.

“The series features many places locals to Chester will recognise. The hall the Guardians live in is based upon the National Trust’s Erddig in North Wales, the heroine in book one is a vet at Chester Zoo, and the heroine in book three is a junior doctor at the Maelor Hospital, Wrexham. In fact, some of my villain’s victims are students from the University!”

When it came to writing her novel in the romance genre, the advice of one of her lecturers was at the forefront of Beth’s mind.

She said: “One of my most striking memories as a student was a session where we discussed the type of writers we wanted to be. When it was my turn, I offered that I wanted to write romance novels. I must have said this rather apologetically because the lecturer gave me a very kind telling off and told me not to apologise for wanting to write in a genre millions of people love.

“That message has stuck with me. I write for fun, relaxation and because I’m driven to do so. I write romance because that genre offers entertainment, escapism and, yes, passion. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the romance genre has seen a resurgence in sales during the summer of 2020. While many have turned to apocalyptic novels for a sense of catharsis during this difficult time, a vast number have turned to romance for comfort.”

For Beth it was important to write characters based upon her own experience as a reader of romance.

She said: “Too many heroines in romance novels are passive. They wait pliantly and suffer before they find happiness. They hope for a man to ride in on his white horse or motorcycle – depending on the century of the story – and change their lives for them. As a 21st-century reader, I want to read about strong women. Professional, educated, confident women. Women who have passion for their career, who take care of themselves and then, yes, comfortable in their own skin, standing on their own two feet, they take the passion and love on offer because it suits them – not because they need to.

“I have done my best to create women I’d like to be friends with. They are intelligent, fun and strong: doctor, vet, survivor or soldier (for Greenpeace and the British Army. They all have passion and guts.”

Describing herself as ‘thrilled, terrified, and angst-ridden’ when she learned her book had been accepted by a publisher, Beth says her favourite moment was when she received her cover art work.

She said: “I literally lost sleep worrying what the cover would look like, but the final draft is just simply wonderful. I’ve got it framed on my office wall – my dream come true.”

The first three books in the series are now available and Beth looks forward to more of the series being released in the New Year.

To learn more about Beth Linton and The Guardians’ Trust series, visit www.bethlinton.co.uk. Beth is also on Goodreads and Amazon, and The Guardians’ Trust: Ana can be downloaded from all the usual e-book platforms.

You can also follow bethlintonauthor on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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Alumni Development and Alumni Relations Office English Fiction Creative and critical writing