Marcia Clayton interview


A little introduction:

Hello Everyone

I’m a wife, mother and grandmother and I love nothing better than curling up with a good book. I enjoy researching my family tree, and it was my love of genealogy that inspired me to write The Hartford Manor Series. I live in Devon, in the far South West of England, where I like walking, gardening, and making floral art arrangements.

When did your love of books begin?

I’ve loved books ever since I can remember. My mum and dad used to read to me regularly, and once I could read for myself, I was often found with my nose stuck in a book when I should have been doing something else!

When did you start to have the wish to become an author?

I’ve always enjoyed writing, and I once attended a Creative Writing course where we wrote short stories. I frequently struggled to keep within the word count and the teacher thought perhaps writing a novel would suit me better. However, I became an author by chance really. I once had a job, where, at times, it was exceptionally busy, but at others, there was simply nothing to do. To pass the time I started to write a book and the rest as they say is history.

How have you found the process for becoming an author?

It’s unlikely I would have even considered publishing my first book, but my eldest son is a talented musician, and he has written a number of books. His wife is a graphic designer, and between them, they encouraged me to self-publish my first book, The Mazzard Tree. Since then, I’ve written three more books, and have taught myself to format and upload them as ebooks, paperbacks and hardbacks to Amazon and Ingram Spark. It’s been a steep learning curve, and at times, daunting and frustrating, but I got there in the end. I’ve never sought a publisher and I enjoy the freedom self-publishing gives me.

What would you say to those wanting to become an author?

To aspiring authors, I would tell them that writing the book is the easy part (only it isn’t!)! Once the book is written it will need an ISBN number, a cover, and to be edited, proofread and formatted, and unless you sign a deal with a publisher, or pay someone to do all of this, it’s very time-consuming. The other thing to consider is how to promote and market the book. All of that said, I love being an author. There is nothing better than discovering people like your books, and a good review is the icing on the cake.

Tell us about your book/books:

My four historical romance books are part of The Hartford Manor Series and are set in Devon during the Regency and Victorian periods. The books highlight the poverty and harsh conditions endured by the lower classes, compared to the opulent lifestyle of the rich Fellwood family which owns Hartford Manor.

Betsey is my recently released prequel to the other three books in the series and is set in Devon in 1820. Betsey, is a sadly neglected child, shouldering responsibilities far beyond her years. As she does her best to care for her little brother, Norman, she is befriended by Gypsy Freda, an old woman whose family is camped nearby. Freda's granddaughter, Jane, is also fond of the little girl and is concerned about her. Thomas, the second son of Lord Fellwood, happens across the gypsy camp and becomes besotted with Jane. However, Jasper Morris, the local miller, also has designs on the young gypsy, and inevitably, the two men do not see eye to eye. Betsey is drawn into their rivalry for the attention of the beautiful young woman, and she finds herself promising to keep a dangerous secret for many years to come. 

You can read a short excerpt from Betsey below.

Excerpt from Betsey


"Hello Betsey, what are you doing out on such a cold morning? You need a thicker coat, this morning. Aren't you cold?"

The child’s nose was red and she was shivering violently. "Aye, sir, I am cold, but these are the warmest clothes I have. I'm on my way to see Gypsy Freda; I'm hoping she might spare some food for me and my brother, Norman."

"I see. Well, I'm not going all the way to the gypsy camp, but I can take you part of the way. Would you like to ride up here with me, again? I can wrap my cloak around you, and warm you up a bit."

"That's kind of you, sir. Yes, please."

Thomas dismounted and lifted the child onto the horse, then clambered up behind her. He pulled his cloak open and wrapped it around her, and they set off, Betsey enjoying the warmth of his body and that of the horse below her. A little of the feeling began to return to her icy feet, making them hurt as they thawed, and she hastily brushed a few tears from her face, hoping he hadn't noticed.

"I know your mother died, Betsey, but does your father not provide food for you?"

"No, not much, sir; he's at work most of the time, and he doesn't always come home, so we're on our own a lot. I'm trying to look after my little brother, Norman, as best I can, but it's difficult. Aunty Kezzie, from next door, has been looking after us since Mum died, but Dad had an argument with her last week and said she can't come to our house anymore, so things are worse than ever at the moment. I've had to leave Norman at home on his own this morning because his shoes are even more worn than mine, and he can't come out in this cold weather. It'll be all right, though, I'm sure Gypsy Freda will help; she's always been kind to me."

Thomas could not believe a father could be so neglectful of his children and resolved to have a word with his own father to see if anything could be done. However, while he was perusing the matter, they heard a sharp scream from up ahead.

"Hold on, Betsey, I think we'd better find out what's happening; it sounds like someone’s in trouble."


The Mazzard Tree begins in 1880 when Annie Carter’s father, Tom, dies of consumption leaving his wife, Sabina, with seven hungry mouths to feed. With her family facing eviction from their tied cottage, and the threat of the workhouse looming, sixteen-year-old Annie steals vegetables from the Manor House garden, risking jail or transportation. She is seen by Robert Fellwood, the heir to the estate. Will he be lenient or will he betray her?   


The Angel Maker: When Annie’s Uncle Fred finds a young woman in dire straits by the roadside, he takes her to the local inn where she gives birth to a daughter. Charlotte is an unmarried mother and she is relieved when her Aunt Joan takes her in. However, when Fred unexpectedly meets Charlotte again, he finds her distraught, as her aunt has had the baby adopted behind her back. Will she ever see her baby girl again?


The Rabbit’s Foot: Sam Fellwood, a tramp, who has spent his life with barely a penny to his name, suddenly finds himself rich beyond his wildest dreams. However, there is only one thing the old man truly wants and that is to be reunited with his son, Marrok, whom he abandoned many years ago. Will Sam find the happiness that has eluded him for so many lonely years?


All of my books are available to read in Kindle Unlimited on Amazon.

I have also published a short story called Amelia, a spin-off from The Mazzard Tree.

Amelia is a little orphan girl of 4, who is abandoned in Victorian London. To find out what happens to Amelia, sign up to join my mailing list and download the story here:


I contact my followers once a month with a newsletter. People can unsubscribe at any time.

What do you love about the writing/reading community?

Since becoming an author I’ve enjoyed the camaraderie amongst other independent authors. On social media, and in person, I have found everyone I have met to be friendly, helpful and supportive. I’ve made some good friends and found some excellent books to read.

If you could say anything to your readers what would it be?

First of all, thank you so much for reading my books! I would also like to emphasise how much authors value reviews, myself included. A few words, or even just the number of stars you feel a book deserves, provides feedback for the author, and encourages other people to read the book. I cannot tell you how much it means to an author to receive a positive review.

Where can people connect with you?



FacebookMarcia Clayton - Author | Facebook

Instagram:  Marcia Clayton: Instagram

Amazon Author Page:

Goodreads:  Marcia Clayton: Goodreads


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