Richard Ottley appears in the court scenes. The detailed accounts of the trial in the press must have been written by someone. There were no by-lines in the newspapers but I chose Richard to be my journalist. His purpose in Barefoot on the Cobbles is to suggest to the reader that the characters before them are multi-faceted and that incidents in their pasts have brought about the appalling situation in which they find themselves.
Needless to say, Richard Reginald Henry Ottley really existed. He was born in Buckingham in 1864 and he lived at Gorwell House Combe Martin. He died in Combe Martin in 1925, following injuries sustained when he fell off the pavement, whilst trying to cross the road. He left nearly £4000.
‘The prosecution had just called their key witness. Ottley was intrigued. What had motivated such a man, one who was clearly of the professional classes, to become embroiled in the goings on of an insignificant fisherman’s family? Ah but perhaps that was the point, Ottley began to mentally debate with himself, maybe the defendants were not so insignificant after all.’
Barefoot on the Cobbles will be published on 17 November 2018. More information about the novel can be found here. Copies will be available at various events in the weeks following the launch or can be pre-ordered from Blue Poppy Publishing or the author. Kindle editions can be pre-ordered for the UK and also on Amazon.com.