Lucienne fulfils lifetime ambition to be an author

September 25 2014

FROM writing her own versions of Bambi when she was a little girl, to becoming a recognised published author, Lucienne Boyce is pursuing her lifetime ambition.

FROM writing her own versions of Bambi when she was a little girl, to becoming a recognised published author, Lucienne Boyce is pursuing her lifetime ambition.
The Westbury Park resident has applied her passion for history and mythology to producing two publications - a novel about an 18th century voyage, and a non-fiction book about the Bristol suffragettes - with several more in the pipeline.
Lucienne moved to Bristol in the 80s, and was inspired by the city's rich history. After working in Bristol University's law department part-time, she decided to take the plunge and give up paid employment completely so she could dedicate all her time to writing books.
Her first novel, To the Fair Land, which combines historical fact and fantasy, is set in the 18th century - her favourite period of writing. It tells the story of protagonist, Ben Dearlove, setting out to trace the anonymous author of a book about a voyage to the Great Southern Continent - which Captain Cook proves doesn't exist.
From coming up with the idea, it took Lucienne around 10 years to finally see the book in print. After her initial attempts to publish the book fell through, she opted for the self-publishing route instead.
Her other book - The Bristol Suffragettes - tells of the struggles and triumphs women faced in the fight for the right to vote in Bristol.
After stumbling across a black and white photo at a market stall on Corn Street of a group of Bristol suffragettes, Lucienne decided to research further into the women photographed.
She said: "I always thought the suffragette movement was London-based, so I was surprised when I came across the photo. I started researching the subject purely out of interest, and then the more I read, the more I discovered about the suffragette movement in Bristol.
"I thought the subject had been done to death, but there is so much more to discover. Every time I read about something new about the women I was researching, I felt like jumping and shouting 'look what I found!'."
Lucienne added: "I've always felt such a strong sense of history walking around Bristol, and feel a connection to the people who have lived before me. You think to yourself, 'this happened here, on our streets'."
Lucienne has done many talks about the Bristol suffragettes, as well as lead several walks around the city, taking people to locations where the suffragettes marched and addressed crowds.
More recently, she has written a chapter on tram girls for a book compiled by the Bristol Festival of Ideas about the city and the Great War. The chapter looks at what happened to women war workers when the First World War ended, and the backlash they faced from men who wanted their jobs.
A few more projects are also up her sleeve, including a book about the Bow Street Runners - London's first professional police team.
Hooked on the popular Game of Thrones series, written by George RR Martin, Lucienne is organising a literary event at Foyles bookshop in Bristol's city centre to discuss historical fantasy.
A panel of authors, including Jack Wolf, Helen Hollick, Juliet McKenna and Lucienne, will be discussing why the two genres - history and fantasy - combine so successfully, and the challenges authors face writing historical fantasy.
Lucienne said: "I think Game of Thrones is a great example of fabulous story-telling - the books are so deeply rooted in history, and create a very realised world.
"I love the idea of adding an element of fantasy to history, and there's a lot of inventive stuff out there - besides Game of Thrones - waiting to be read."
The discussion will be taking place at Foyles Bookshop, Quakers Friars on November 12, 6-7.30pm. The event is free but booking is essential. Contact to reserve a space.

Lucienne Boyce