A best-selling Morpeth author is turning to her own family history as inspiration for her latest work.
Janet MacLeod Trotter may have been brought up in the North East of England, but the sub-continent of India has always had a special hold.
And now it has become the setting for her new series of historical novels.
The link begins with the writer’s grandparents Bob Gorrie and Sydney Easterbrook, who began their married life in India in the early 1920s when Mr Gorrie went there to work as a forester after surviving the First World War trenches. Mrs MacLeod Trotter’s mother Sheila spent the first eight years of her childhood there.
The author’s strong appetite for the country was increased when she read E M Forster’s Passage To India so before studying at Edinburgh University, she spent four months on an overland bus trip there.
Now, decades later and with 17 historical novels to her name, she has turned back to the country for her ‘India Tea Series’.
Her new book, The Planter’s Bride, is the second in the series, set in the post First World War period and the changing world of India under the British Raj.
It is described as a story of intrigue, passion, tragedy, loyalty and undying love, and uses information from Mrs MacLeod Trotter’s grandparents’ recently discovered diaries and letters home as the backdrop for the storylines.
It is out in shops and as an e-book now.
The book’s prequel, The Tea Planter’s Daughter, earned Mrs MacLeod Trotter a nomination for the Romantic Novel Award and became an Amazon Kindle top ten best-seller.
She is now planning a trip to India later this year with her husband Graeme to visit places her grandparents would have known and find inspiration for her next book in the series.
“It will be an emotional journey,” she said.