CST Harding grew up on the western slopes of the Malvern Hills, and then experimented with computers and banking before settling down to write novels about outrageous women in Victorian England.
He spends his time split between Sevenoaks and Bath, where he does much of his writing on a narrowboat with the help of the odd glass of wine.
History has always been his first love. He took a degree in archaeology, and has travelled widely with a particular fascination for historical sites. A high spot was Everest Base-camp.
His other love is romance and has always preferred heroines with attitude. He became an author partly to write about rebellious girls who can change the world in outrageous plots, and women who can burn a path through life and hang the consequences.
For more information see https://cstharding.com or on Facebook under cstharding. He loves feedback which helps with future novels, and will reply to all communications.
Author Interview with “ItsWriteNow”
How did the idea for your books begin? I wanted to write about heroines who were headstrong and outrageous. The first novel began with a vision of Harry running into a fight to rescue a boy, who was outnumbered and losing. She rescues him of course, but then abuses and infuriates him. She proceeds to lead him a dance though London and Paris, on both sides of the law, as she turns France upside down. For much of the book he remains cross with her until finally…..
What was the most important thing that you wanted to say in your book? I have always loved romance but was never happy with week wimpy heroines who did little. I wanted a heroine who was a high achiever, who changed the lives of everyone, whilst remaining at heart just a a vulnerable girl. Many of the characters are a picture of opposites. To me, that is what makes them endearing.
Did you include any life experiences in your book? Oh yes. I have worked with a number of extraordinary women. Many of them have contributed a little part of themselves in Henrietta Jones. I could name perhaps six or seven for whom I have deep respect, but who would be surprised at their latest incarnation.
What was the most rewarding thing about writing the book? Seeing where all the characters end up. There are a number of interesting characters and they each start with some qualities that expand into a personality, and which then grow foibles and contradictions, ambitions and hopes. They take on a life of their own and I love watching them cope with life’s problems. I have to see where they lead.
How did the characters come to you? Working out in the Gym often helps. Often I start with an idea, and a snatch of conversation pops into my head, something that helps define the character. For instance in one scene, a couple of violent men are trying to intimidate Harry, and I was actually on the cross-trainer when I realised they had secret ambitions to open a florist!