Pamela Belle

I'm a proud native of Suffolk, but now live in Wiltshire, divorced with two adult sons, in a small house with a garden I've made from scratch, and two loving, beautiful, mischievous and entertaining Burmese kittens. I've been writing since I was a small child, and began my first published book at the age of thirteen, though it had been through many revisions and alterations by the time it first saw the light of day, nearly twenty years later. I have since written sixteen novels, all but two of them historical, thirteen of them published. They cover a variety of periods - Anglo-Saxon England at the time of Alfred the Great, the Wars of the Roses, the English Civil War, Restoration England, and the underworld of early Georgian London. I have a history degree and do a great deal of research, which I think is like an iceberg - most of it isn't visible in the story, but without it the whole edifice would keel over and sink! Many of my characters are fictional, but the world in which they move is not, and my mantra has always been, 'These people may not have actually existed, these events might not actually have happened - but they could have done, and they are true to their times.' My many and varied interests often feature in my writing - gardening, animals, children, art, old houses, music and exploring the daily life of people who lived long ago. An author of historical novels needs to know a little about a lot, and my magpie mind certainly helps!

Award Category
Golden Writer
A Parcel of Rogues
My Submission


Gale Winskill Thu, 03/08/2023 - 14:53

Strong sense of place and an intriguing introduction to the mysterious character of Dark. Encourages the reader to keep going.

Shirley Fedorak Fri, 04/08/2023 - 04:24

An insightful description of the time period and a good set-up for what I assume will be a fascinating search for Mary. I found distracting the point of view moving from one character to the other (head hopping) rather distracting, and more seriously into omniscient pov that sounded much like author intrusion (telling) and kept me from becoming fully engaged with the story.

JB Penrose Thu, 10/08/2023 - 17:18

Congratulations on being a PTA finalist for the Book Award. History is rich, whichever continent you live on. But making it interesting takes a writer. Apparently, you've done a good job. I'll look for more! Smiles//jb

Tammy Letherer Sun, 13/08/2023 - 19:58

This excerpt achieves what it should: setting the reader firmly into the world and introducing the quest. I think sticking to one POV would be stronger. I also found some of the physical description, especially when combined with dialogue tags, to be unnecessary and cumbersome. Cutting some could sharpen the pace, but overall an intriguing start.

Kirstie Long Mon, 14/08/2023 - 17:56

The scene is set and whilst I feel that some of the descriptions could have been cut down to push the pace, it is only the first 10 pages, which doesn't give us time to really see how the pace and characterisation throughout the plot will work.

There is a good understanding of the period it is written in, which I like - I want to read authenticity in such novels and so far that was there. I found the writing well constructed and structured too. Intrigued as to where the plot goes and would very happily keep reading.

Paula Sheridan Thu, 31/08/2023 - 18:05

This is a comment from a publisher judge who asked us to post this comment:

Excellent introduction of the narrative problem right off the bat. Sticking to one POV would keep the reader more engaged and grounded. We love to see authenticity in historical fiction, but would encourage the reader to prioritize pacing, cutting down the dialogue tags and making sure the language used to define the setting does not overbear the language used to define the characters.

Annette Crossland Thu, 31/08/2023 - 22:24

I thought this had potential, well-written but need refining and honing. I would happily read more but would suggest the author have a re-read and cut some of the dialogue. I think the character of Dark is definitely intriguing. All in all, a good start to luring the reader into the story.

Kelly Lydick Fri, 01/09/2023 - 05:36

I'm not typically drawn to historical fiction, but I found this compelling. I'd like to see the tone smoothed a bit more with a medium-level copy edit.