The Maiden’s Court – Author Interview with DM Denton

Thank you to Heather Rieseck who recently did an interview with me on her blog, The Maiden’s Court.


The questions:

1. The bio on your website indicates that the writing bug bit you in your childhood and then life happened.  What brought you back to writing in earnest?

2. What is the writing process like for you?  Are you a planner or a spontaneous writer?

Alessandro Stradella 1639-16823. In your novel, A House Near Luccoli, the composer Alessandro Stradella is your focal point.  I have never heard of this man before.  What can you tell us about him?  Why choose to write about him?

4. Is there a tidbit that didn’t make it into your novel that you would want to share with us?

5. Your novel is set in Genoa, Italy – have you ever had the chance to go to the area where your novel is set?

6. You are working on a sequel to A House Near Luccoli.  How is that process going?  Did you always intend for a sequel or was it something that developed organically?


I hope you will take a few moments to visit Heather’s blog and read my answers here!


And, if you haven’t already, please visit the page on this blog about the sequel, To A Strange Somewhere Fled, and scroll down for a form you can fill out and send to ensure you’re on the email list for notification of its release.

To A Strange Somewhere Fled Header with cover image circle-cropped resized



 Thank you all – new friends and old – for your visits, encouragement and support! It means so much to me.

donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back tobardessdmdenton. Thank you.

In memoriam: You Moved Through the Fair

As today marks the two year anniversary of the passing from this world of a special friend and extraordinary musician and spirit, Owain Phyfe, I want to share this one again.

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

There was music on your breath
made softer
but not stilled by death;
the bright greeting of your eyes
lost, but for
reminiscing sighs;
the quick smile that found each one,
a star with
the warmth of the sun;
a playfulness in your hands
songs from foreign lands.

You moved many through the fairs
and left them
mourning you in prayers;
those times past and present too,
with all your
audience to woo;
mine a quiet memory
not to let
fade and thus bury—
when neither too sweetly soon
nor too late
you sang for the moon.

The sketch is of Owain, a loved if often distant friend, who was a vocalist, instrumentalist, and founder of Nightwatch Recording, which concentrated on Renaissance and Medieval music, and, also, music from South America and Mexico. He died from pancreatic cancer on September 5, 2012 at the age of 63. I did the drawing many years before, intending to make it into a painting. Like, so many things relating to him, it remains unfinished.

He has left a legacy of beautiful music. Below is one of my favorites, but please go to YouTube for more examples. 

If you are interested in purchasing any of Owain’s CDs, have a look here:


donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Whack, Wallop, Whack!

The Thrush
for the moment
without a song,
walked the path
with a purpose
she had all along.

She meant
to crack that snail
so hard to crack;
who would’ve thought
all she should do
was give it a whack.

Whack, wallop, whack!
Whack, wallop, whack!
Such strength to pretend;
Whack, wallop, whack!
Stand back, stand back!

Have a go again!

The thrush
for the moment
found a new song,
flying off with
a meal she knew
she had all along.

Copyright by DM Denton 2014

Copyright by DM Denton 2014

An old one with a new title!


©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Book Review: A House Near Luccoli


Thank you, Laurel, for this lovely, honest review:

Originally posted on Laurel's Reflections:

A House Near Luccoli: A Novel of Musical Intimacy & Intrigue in 17th Century Genoa by DM Denton (All Things That Matter Press, 2012)

I have a deep appreciation for things that appeal to my sense of beauty.  While I enjoy many novels for a multitude of varying reasons, from their excellent characterisation to their capacity to make me see the world in new ways, teach me new things or simply engage my rapt attention, there are only a few that have captured me with their lyricism and beauty. The historic novel ‘A House Near Luccoli’ by DM Denton flows with a rhythm and melody that took me some time to adjust to – her sophisticated style took a little time to attune to, and I initially found myself re-reading paragraphs to ensure I was completely clear on what was happening. However, once I let go of my structured…

View original 224 more words

Unveiling …

… the cover artwork for the upcoming,

To A Strange Somewhere Fled

(sequel to A House Near Luccoli).

Cover Artwork To A Strange Somewhere Fled smaller for blog post

Copyright 2014 by DM Denton


     She had just begun to feel relaxed at the big house, not as if she belonged there but a little less intrusive each time she walked up its long crunching drive in sun and shade until the oaks had greened and dropped their catkins and the horse chestnuts lifted into candle flowers. It was odd but quite helpful that it never rained on those days. If her mother wasn’t with her and the Captain hurried ahead in hopes of meeting Roger, Donatella would take little detours that didn’t change her destination, although there was a sense of getting lost in the grazing sheep and naturalness around her. She felt her legs tighten up the banks for she had walked so little in her life and run even less. Looping her sagging satchel of books and papers around her, she took off like a kitten moving faster than it knew how to. It felt good to leave the ground and swing her arms, to trip and even slide as she thought no one saw. ~ From To A Strange Somewhere Fled


In the excerpt above, ‘she’ is Donatella, the female protagonist of A House Near Luccoli, the ‘big house’ is Wroxton Abbey and ‘Roger” is the Honorable Roger North. The setting of the novel is late Restoration England (1682-1683).

Have a way to go to transform the image into an actual book cover, but hope you enjoyed this preview!


donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.


Repost: The Man Who Gave Me Flowers

I was feeling sorry for myself when I thought of the man who gave me flowers.

He said very little, saw such a lot, couldn’t read but was a master of growing.

He had barely avoided being lost in a mine shaft and had suffered a nervous breakdown over climbing ladders; but in retirement he made a real living out of pottering and obsessing—never lonelier, never happier, never available to anything but his bliss.

His specialties were sweet peas and chrysanthemums, the latter daisy-like or pompon-shaped and enormous like the inedible onions he also won prizes for. But the former were unwritten poetry: long-stemmed, crepe-papery, candy-colored and as sweetly scented.

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

He sowed them early and prayed for gentle rain, cool sunshine and uneventful nights. He trained them up bamboo poles, tying them loosely so it was their idea to reach upwards. Suckers were cut off to ensure long strong stems; so were the tendrils that could make a mess of his plans. As the buds appeared he shielded them against the weather; as they blossomed he cut and arranged them in green metal vases with narrow bases and wide brims. The first crop over, he knew how to get another, folding the stalks down, a trick that fooled them into thinking they had to begin again.

They brought him visitors, a little cash (kept under his mattress) and a lot of praise, satisfaction and disbelief, and frustration because he couldn’t bear to waste his time on such things.

He never made me feel unwelcome, giving me a special bouquet he had put aside.  I had nothing to say but “thank you, it’s beautiful.”

All I really knew of him were the flowers he gave me.

I have sweet peas in my garden now, allowed free reign by my laziness, with suckers and tendrils, reaching and falling, rain soaked and wind broken, encouraged and burned by the sun, yet somehow as perfect as the ones he grew.

About that he maintains a heavenly silence.


This was first posted June 2013.

Alas, this year, some critters ate my sweet peas before they had a chance to climb and wander and flower.

 I have planted nothing but memories in their place.

Maybe next year …


©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Review – Ghost Writings: Beyond the Obvious

Do you enjoy reading stories with a supernatural flavor?

Here is my 5 star review for …

Ghost Writings: A Ghost Story Guide - Deborah Bennison (Editor) and Neil Wilson (Introduction)
Published by Bennison Books

July 26, 2014

Ghost Writings: Beyond the Obvious

Ghost Writings by D. BennisonThere is much to learn about the essence and evolution of the ghost story in the pages of the unique, precisely conceived and satisfyingly constructed ‘Ghost Writings’. It is not merely a listing of ghost stories and their authors, in this case British. It is rich in information about the genre, with introductory in-depth essays by the ghost story bibliographer, Neil Wilson, who offers fascinating insights into its fairy-tale, folk, religious and occult origins, its variations reflective of fashions and obsessions, and its development through the ‘golden age’ of spiritualism, artistic movements, and physiological, scientific and technological advancements such as radio and film.

Included are brief but tantalizing biographies. Ms. Bennison honors the obvious—masters of the craft like Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens and Bram Stoker—but, also, reveals “the double life” of literary figures not necessarily associated with the supernatural; one of the most surprising for me being E. Nesbitt, author of ‘The Railway Children’. There are others, great mainstream writers like L.P Hartley and D.H. Lawrence who ventured into other-worldly territory. Ghost Writings clears away the cobwebs from the lives and works of more obscure writers. The long list of female writers, a few well-known to me like Charlotte and Emily Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell and Agatha Christie, insists—as do all the other categories—on being investigated further.

Traveling the ghost story’s journey through time, I felt some regret that its traditional and subtle nature, which inspired “a pleasing terror” (to quote ghost story writer, M.R. James, 1862-1936), has been lost to a pessimistic and continuously violent post WWII world, the modern appetite for speed and sensationalism, and absence of fundamental moral consideration. Contributor, Neil Wilson, admits that in order for the genre to remain vital it must continue to embrace the changes that retain its relevance to the world in which its current readers live. He also acknowledges that the need to “exceed previous levels of sensationalism” drains, depresses and certainly desensitizes perhaps more than is healthy for the genre or its followers—not so unlike what happened towards the end of its Gothic era; after all, the beginning of yet another metamorphosis.

As a writer who has just incorporated a ghostly presence into a novel’s story line, I know how difficult it is to achieve with finesse and credibility. All the more reason I found this book engrossing and important. Ms. Bennison’s obvious passion for the subject and skilled editing and compilation effortlessly achieves her aim of enticing readers into exploring the ghost story through all its stages, possibilities and impossibilities; and, most importantly, far beyond the obvious.

Ghost Writings for Kindle: massive price drop for 7 days

to celebrate new paperback version

Click here to go to Ghost Writings at

Ghost Writings Back Cover


 Hope you will take advantage of the great deal for the next few days on the kindle version, or why not purchase the brand new paperback version!

Also, check out Bennison Book’s other publications

And now I fade into the vapors of the electronic world
(and, perhaps, more than a few centuries ago) …

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton