What Do I Do When I’m Not Writing? by Nicola Pryce


My blog guest this week is Nicola Pryce. Her latest novel in the Cornish Saga Series is The Cornish Captive. Today, Nicola is going to answer the question – What do I do when I’m not writing? Over to Nicola …

Hi Morton, thank you for inviting me on to your blog. It’s lovely to be here. The answer is, I’ll be sewing.

I’ve always loved sewing. I won a prize at school for needlework but my skills are limited compared to so many of my friends. I love basic patchwork and tapestry and I enjoy making fancy dress costumes for my grandsons. I’ve recently made a spate of roman blinds but my favourites must be lavender bags and patchwork hot water bottle covers. I just can’t be without the next project.

I made my wedding dress but I don’t make clothes anymore. My latest project is to get back to my dolls house. I made it from a kit eighteen months ago and I’ve decorated it to match our house. I’ve made the bedding and cushions, I just need to make the curtains and blinds. You can see I’ve tried to match the patchwork quilt.

With my love of sewing, it’s not surprising that I base my books round a dressmaking establishment though, given the choice, I’d rather be one of the wealthy ladies visiting the shop than the seamstresses working there! In 1793 the light would have been dreadful and the hours long but I would have loved handling the fabrics and sorting the ribbons and lace.                               

Madame Merrick, the senior dressmaker in my book Pengelly’s Daughter, is based on a French dressmaker, Rose Bertin, who was Marie Antoinette’s dressmaker. When the émigrés fled the terror their dressmakers, including Rose Bertin, followed. Many went to London but some stayed in Cornwall and Devon. The new, lighter materials of tuille and silk, together with the change of fashion from heavy corsets and full brocade skirts to higher waists and slim silhouettes, made them easier to sew. Previously, tailors had been involved in the sewing of women’s gowns but suddenly they were redundant. How wonderful was that!

I love researching the fabrics and embroidery used in the late eighteenth century and spend hours collecting photos for my Pinterest pages. The detail is truly incredible. In The Cornish Dressmaker my heroine Elowyn Liddicot makes poor William Cotterell wait two hours while she perfects the art of ribbon embroidery (see above) and I can’t help making all my heroes wear beautifully embroidered waistcoats. I love to imagine my characters sewing together, and I love that I can create a feminine sphere where aristocratic ladies can relax and enjoy female companionship – maybe even meet a rather dashing ship’s captain in the linen cupboard … as in The Captain’s Girl!

So maybe the answer to your question what do I do when I’m not writing is that I’m sewing, but while I’m sewing I’m with my fellow seamstresses in a warehouse above a shipyard listening intently to all the gossip and imagining I’m taking a sip of Madame Merrick’s rather strong punch!

Sounds amazing and makes me want to read your books or be there with you! Mx

About Nicola Pryce

Nicola Pryce is published by Atlantic Books and is represented by Teresa Chris. She trained as a nurse at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, loves literature and history, and has an Open University degree in Humanities. She is a qualified adult literacy support volunteer and lives with her husband in the Blackdown Hills in Somerset. She and her husband love sailing and together they sail the south coast of Cornwall in search of adventure.

Pengelly’s Daughter is her first novel, then The Captain’s Girl, The Cornish Dressmaker, The Cornish Lady, and A Cornish Betrothal. The Cornish Captive was published in January 2022.

Nicola is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Historical Writers’ Association.

Do visit her website for more information about her books at   http://nicolapryce.co.uk

Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/nicolaprycebooks/

Instagram at Nicola Pryce-author (@nicola_pryce_author) • Instagram photos and videos

Twitter at @NPryce_Author

Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.co.uk/nicolapryceauth/

Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15249833.Nicola_Pryce

Nicola’s latest book is The Cornish Captive

Cornwall, 1800.

Imprisoned on false pretences, Madeleine Pelligrew, former mistress of Pendenning Hall, has spent the last 14 years shuttled between increasingly destitute and decrepit mad houses. When a strange man appears out of the blue to release her, she can’t quite believe that her freedom comes without a price. Hiding her identity, Madeleine determines to discover the truth about what happened all those years ago.

Unsure who to trust and alone in the world, Madeleine strikes a tentative friendship with a French prisoner on parole, Captain Pierre de la Croix. But as she learns more about the reasons behind her imprisonment, and about those who schemed to hide her away for so long, she starts to wonder if Pierre is in fact the man he says he is. As Madeleine’s past collides with her present, can she find the strength to follow her heart, no matter the personal cost?

The Cornish Captive: Nicola (Author) Pryce: 9781838954598: hive.co.uk

Thank you for visiting my blog – Morton S. Gray – Author. I hope you enjoyed this post. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Summer at Lucerne Lodge published as an eBook, paperback and audio download too – Amazon Check on my Choc Lit author page for other purchasing options here 

Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe published as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and Choc Lit for other options.

Sunny Days at the Beach is now available as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and at Choc Lit for other options.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is available as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon KindleAudioApple iBooksKobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.

The Truth Lies Buried is available from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKoboApple iBooks and also as a paperback and audiobook.

The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available as a paperback and from all eBook platforms –Amazon KindleApple iBooksKobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.

By Morton S. Gray

Author of romantic suspense novels. http://mortonsgray.com


  1. How lovely is this blog? And how talented Nicola is. How is this for a coincidence? In the plane back from Italy on Saturday I was sitting next to a delightful 21 year old and we got talking about books. When she heard my story about getting into writing quite late, she said, “ my other has a friend like that- she’s called Nicky Price. I don’t suppose you’ve heard of her!” I think the name of my seating companion was Elizabeth, studying Classics and Italian at uni. She was returning from two months in Modena. What a small world. Maybe you could tell Nicola.
    Thanks for your posts,
    Angela xx

    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog, Morton. I loved answering your question. And how lovely to hear of Angela’s coincidental meeting with Elizabeth – the daughter of one of my oldest school friends. Xxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Lynn. My debut novel started as a bit of a joke with my daughters. I was teasing them about bringing their mending to me and the idea of a character came immediately to mind – a seamstress who loved sewing but whose daughter never lifted a needle. That was the kernel which developed into the dressmaker’s establishment with the formidable Madame Merrick in charge.

      Liked by 1 person

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