New Rasen area authors a generation apart

A father and daughter from the Market Rasen area have become first-time authors during lockdown.

Father and daughter authors Mike and Anna Jefferson

Anna Jefferson, 42, originally from Nettleton, and her father, Mike Jefferson, 74, who lives in North Kelsey, are publishing their debut books within weeks of each other.

Anna signed a two-book deal with Orion, the first of which, Winging It, described as ‘a hilarious, relatable story of motherhood and friendship,’ is due for publication in paperback on November 12.

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The novel was born out of Anna’s successful blog, You Can Take Her Home Now, that documented the highs and lows of early parenting.

Her father is publishing a very different kind of book.

‘The Templar Estates in Lincolnshire, 1185-1565 - Agriculture and Economy’ is out in hardback with Boydell and Brewer on December 18.

It is a four-year labour of love following his MA in 2007 and doctorate in 2016, both at Nottingham University.

Anna, who now lives in Brighton with her husband and two young children, said: “It’s been great writing at the same time as Dad.

“We would often Zoom each other in the middle of the day for moral support.

“Writing is a solitary thing at the best of times, but especially at the moment, so it’s been brilliant to know we’re both in it together.”

Mike agreed, and said: “It was so good to compare progress with Anna.

“It helped us both, particularly when the writing wasn’t going smoothly.

“We were able to share the joys and pitfalls along the rocky road to authorship.”

Lincolnshire features heavily in Anna’s novel.

The central character is from North Lincolnshire, and Anna’s best friend still lives in Cleethorpes.

Anna said: ‘I grew up in Nettleton and went to school at De Aston in Market Rasen, this has undoubtedly influenced my writing.

“I left home when I went 
to university, but visit as often as I can to see family and friends.

“The novel is a work of fiction, but I have definitely drawn on my personal experiences of growing up and becoming a mum.”

Much has been written about the military exploits of the Knights Templar in the Holy Land, but Mike says perhaps it is less well-known the order was a major landholder in England, not least in Lincolnshire.

Mike, writing as J. Michael Jefferson, said: “My book tells the tale of the Templars’ Lincolnshire estates from 1185 until the reign of Elizabeth I.

“It covers Templar agricultural practice in the early 14th century and the fate of the Templar estates following the arrest of the order in 1308, a tale which is interwoven with the history of medieval and Tudor England.”

Anna and Mike are keen to mark their unusual joint successes, however, due to Covid, they won’t be able to do it together, so instead they are going to have a Zoom launch, billed as ‘Sleepless Knights’.

Anna said: “My sister Lucy thought up the name.

“We wanted to be able to celebrate with all those who have supported us, and raise a glass of fizz.

“It’s not every day you publish a book at the same time as your dad!”

Both books will be available through Amazon.

Anna’s second novel, ‘Nailing It’, will be published in August 2021.