Author Jane Hardstaff’s debut novel, The Executioner’s Daughter, is going down a storm with young readers.
The book, for over-tens, tells the story of Moss, the daughter of the executioner in the Tower of London, who runs away from a life she hates.
Ms Hardstaff, 48, formerly of Coldharbour Lane, Marlborough, drew inspiration from her Wiltshire childhood.
A television producer, Ms Hardstaff lives in London with partner Nick and seven-year-old daughter Frea, and returns to Marlborough to visit her parents.
She said: “The idea of setting the novel in Tudor times came from living in London.
“I started imagining what it would be like to be the executioner working in the Tower of London and what it would be like to be his daughter and having to make difficult choices at a young age.
“My dad was a biology teacher, so when I was growing up in Wiltshire I used to go on fishing expeditions, pond dipping, and I became fascinated at the idea of hidden creatures and hidden things.”
The novel has had a top review in The Times. Ms Hardstaff said: “To get such a good review was quite a shock because that doesn’t often happen with a debut novel and to hear from children how the book makes them feel and what they think of it has been really special.”
The Executioner’s Daughter is priced £6.99.