Demons on Her Shoulder – a psychological suspense
I wrote Demons on Her Shoulder after the cathartic realisation that writing could actually help me shed my own baggage. Of my novels, this is the one which generates the private comments, the heartfelt messages and the pleas for mercy from other suffering individuals. It’s the least well known of my works. I don’t advertise it, don’t give interviews about it – I don’t draw attention to it in any way. It’s there on Amazon and Smashwords, sitting quietly until somebody needs it.
I set Demons on Her Shoulder in Lincoln, the town of my upbringing and visited recently. We trod the familiar streets described in the book. I photographed the building housing Jayden Mitchell’s incredible rooftop apartment. My mind wandered to those readers who’ve emailed or messaged me in the years since the book launched. I decided to offer them a treat. If Demons on Her Shoulder touched your heart, enjoy the photos from Lincoln, the city which never lets you go…
Stunningly beautiful, the cathedral stands on the highest point of the city, visible from as far away as Boston in the south on a clear day. Living in Lincoln, it served as my beacon home in a countryside which is as flat as a pancake. In Demons on Her Shoulder, the cathedral is a significant place for Jayden, offering precious memories of her father within its ancient walls.
It crowns the city, visible from every direction and I visited it with my parents the day before giving a radio interview about my writing. A choir practice added the beautiful accompaniment as we wandered the vast halls, lost in our own memories. My father drove the open top bus for a time back in the early 1990s and parked outside the cathedral, once reviving a tourist on the top deck who suffered cardiac arrest. My first proper date with my husband involved a walk around the vast nave and it brought back those memories. I infused my love of the cathedral into Demons on Her Shoulder and I hope you find it there.
The cathedral is stunning and if you ever visit Lincoln, don’t be tempted to underestimate its magnificence. The iconic Lincoln Imp will hide in the rafters peeking down at you. Without local help; you won’t find him. Even then, you may need to rely on postcards to show you his wicked grimace and jaunty, don’t care posture. Tour guides will point him out but if he doesn’t want to be looked at; you won’t see him. In Demons on Her Shoulder, the Lincoln Imp is a pivotal character, despite his stone incarceration. He’s real, a commander from the other side; governing his warriors until his inevitable release. His story is contained in the novel and his lieutenants haunt the character of Jayden Mitchell at his direction. They pursue her without mercy and her salvation comes from an unlikely source.
If you struggled to imagine Jayden’s apartment; I can assure you it’s real. Based on the building which housed Henry Ruddock’s stationary store since the 1800s, her wee loft offers security from the two men she fears most in life. Her roof garden is her eerie, allowing her a vantage point from which to view the High Street. I simply moved the building in its entirety to the other side of the street. I hope you appreciate this photo. In order to get the whole thing in, I needed to purchase a new camera lens and get my husband to stand in the street to let me know when to take a clean shot!
I would have loved a photo of it. There were so many people clustered outside that I just couldn’t do it. Besides, I couldn’t be certain that Raff wouldn’t burst out of his house and bare his bum at me for my insensitivity.
The best I could do was this; a picture of the road in front where Jayden fell and a shot of the view from the front of Raff’s house. Lincoln castle is on the right of his front door and the cathedral on the left. The novel refers to his house being sandwiched between church and state, ironic for a man acceptable to neither one.
The parish of St Jude’s is not real. It’s entirely made up, as is the awful vicar at its centre, the bigoted John McLean. It’s kind of an allegory for what can happen to a good church when the wrong person comes into power. Whilst not overtly Christian, the novel is based within a church environment with some of the most familiar Christian principles in play. The diocese is Anglican, hence the importance of the cathedral within the story. I was very grateful to my old friend, Kim Ford, a vicar from Leicestershire for her advice about the inner workings of the Anglican church. I had never heard of Flying Bishops until my conversation with Kim. Obviously I had to put one in. Why wouldn’t I?
This incredible site doesn’t really feature in Demons on Her Shoulder but I wanted to look at the phenomenal poppy display on show there. As punishment for bottling out of taking a picture of Raff’s three story town house, here are some pictures from inside the castle. I was still jet lagged at this point, just so you know how I suffered for your pleasure.
If you’re having a freaky deja vu moment looking at the castle photos, it might be because movies, The Da Vinci Code and Young Victoria were both filmed in the grounds. The ivy covered building still serves as a working courthouse.
Just to round off, I should probably prove I was actually there. Below is a picture of me with my parents. It was the start of our trip and I hadn’t seen them for more than 4 years but it was a precious, treasured time and I hope they don’t mind me plastering their mug shots on my blog.
Demons on Her Shoulder
If you haven’t yet read this book, I’m in the process of re-editing it. It’s a novel which increased in popularity recently, perhaps due to the radio interview with BBC Radio Lincolnshire. The interviewer chatted with me about my upbringing in Lincoln which led readers to search my portfolio and discover this little gem.
If you’re too desperate to wait for the newer edition, I’ve reduced the price of this novel to 99c for a limited time on Amazon Kindle. It will go back up to full price once I finish my fiddling. It’s essentially a mystery romance, dominated by a pair of strong, Italian brothers and a damaged woman whose courage outweighs her fear. There will be victory, but it may not come from an unexpected quarter…
K T Bowes is the writer of The Hana Du Rose Mysteries, From Russia, With Love Series and numerous other bestselling novels. Get in touch with her via her Facebook page or add a comment below if you wish to get in touch with her. She answers all her own messages.