My second book in the Lancashire Girls series about wives left behind when their husbands were transported to New South Wales is published now in paperback and ebook. There will be an audio book soon and a large print version next year.
This story isn’t based on as much fact as the first book – The Convict’s Wife – which was the story of Thomas Holden as revealed by his letters home and his diaries.
In A Mother’s Fight, I’ve used the name of one of the men who was sentenced at the same time as Thomas Holden. He was John Fisher, who is known in the novel as Jack. When I was writing this story I couldn’t find any trace of what happened to him and so his story is entirely what I imagined it might be.
However, after the book was written and I was continuing my research for book three in the series, I found some new information about him that had been recently added to a site about convicts. Of course, I couldn’t rewrite the book at that point so what happened to John Fisher in real life is not the same as his story in this novel.
The real John Fisher was working as a stockman in 1828 in Sutton Forest near Sydney. He was aged 39 and applied for permission to marry 22 year old Sarah Price who was a bonded convict, although John Fisher had completed his sentence by then and was free. They were married in the parish church of All Saints on 28th December 1831 by the Reverend W. Cowper. John Fisher died in November 1836 aged 55 years. He would have been buried in the churchyard. I wonder if any of my Australian readers live in that neighbourhood. Please let me know if you do! Or if you think you might be descended from John Fisher.
Of course his fictional life took a different path, and you’ll have to read A Mother’s Fight to discover what happens to him and his wife, Hannah, in the story.