Manor Park woman teams up with her dad to write novel

Frances Gov (nee Laval) with her fantasy novel, The Prince of Carentan which she has published with

Frances Gov (nee Laval) with her fantasy novel, The Prince of Carentan which she has published with her fater, Devek Laval. - Credit: Vickie Flores/Archant

A dad and his daughter have teamed up to explore the world of medieval fantasy in their first ever published novel.

Frances Gow, 48, of Manor Park, said she has been writing for a long time and became particularly interested in writing for young adults after taking up a job as a library assistant at Plashet School.

So, when her father, Derek Clive Laval, suggested they should put pen to paper together, Frances decided to pursue the project - which would lead to the duo’s first novel, The Prince of Carentan.

“When he approached me with the idea, I was writing anyway but he just asked if I fancied collaborating and I thought it was an interesting idea,” the mother-of-two said.

“He said he had some ideas and we worked with them together.”


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Frances, who has just completed a Masters degree in Creative Writing, said although the book was her first published work, her dad has had some of his non-fiction work published before.

She said: “My dad worked in management consultancy and had his own business.

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“He has always been a bit of an entrepreneur and has had his non-fiction work published so I guess the love for reading and writing has always been in the family.

“My mum was always reading to me when I was little, I actually remember her reading the hobbit to me.”

She added: “I love the whole idea of medieval fantasy, I’m a big fan of books like Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings, so that has always served as an inspiration.”

Frances, who has lived in Manor Park for 24 years explained that the father and daughter team worked really well.

“We compliment each other because we have different skills when it comes to writing.

“My dad is very good when it comes to coming up with the actual story whereas I’m good at developing the characters, doing the research behind it, so it is a real team effort.”

The book, which is the first in The Carentan Series, follows the adventures of Gereinte Andolin, heir to the throne of Carentan, who is a sitting target since the death of his father.

He is abducted and sold into servitude to a rough sea-faring tribe.

The second book of the series, The King of Carentan, is due to be published in January.

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