Saturday, June 5, 2010

Guest Post: Anya Seton, Jewelry and me....

Today we have a guest post from Michelle Moore, who is the force behind Author's Attic, which is where our awesome giveaway for this season comes from. Michelle is sharing her thoughts about Anya Seton, and Jewelry.


A dear friend brought me some books she thought I would enjoy, you all know how this goes, you read the back covers and wonder, "Why did she think I would like that?" One book didn't even have a synopsis on the back cover, it was old, from 1954, the fabric cover worn and tattered, the once bright red, now a nice shade of pink in some places, however, it did have family tree on the inside cover.

I'm drawn to the old Kings and Queens of England, King Henry VIII especially, I also have a soft spot in my heart for the mistresses of old, like Heloise in Marion Meade's Stealing Heaven. So, castles, the fat old Henry connection, and a misunderstood mistress made it seem like Katherine would be a good read after all. I fell in love with Katherine by Anya Seton, I fell hard.

If you are like me, after reading a historical fiction novel, you end up spending hours online looking for pictures and stories of the characters you just closed the cover on. I was just starting to learn how to make graphics and websites, so when I was trying to find stories and images of Katherine Swynford, Kettlethorpe, and John of Gaunt, I saved whatever I found, and made a website with all the information I gathered, so the next time someone put "Anya Seton's Katherine" in a google search, my site would come up, and all the information was waiting for them in one place.

I'm still amazed at the number of emails and guestbook entries I get from others all over the world, who fell in love with this book that had stumbled upon my website, some finding it only months ago to others recalling how they had read it decades before. Sometimes, you fall so desperately in love with a book, you think yourself a bit crazy, but not with Katherine, I had all these messages to look back on, I had the reassurance of others, that this book touched their lives as much as it touched mine.

Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series did the same, but didn't touch me really as much as it hit me over the head and made me a total nutcase! The same thing, I read the book, and did the crazed fan searches on the internet, that was after I went and bought a computer! I fell into an internet group, made friends, and found others wishing we had a ring just like Jamie gave to Claire. With a friend named Janice, and permission from Diana, I was able to get myself and others their very own Claire's ring. I can't tell you how many exactly have been sold, but I asked last year and it was over 2000! Neither Janice, Diana or I make any money off Claire's ring, but it does give you a bit of clout with the jeweler that makes them and I was going to use it!
I've always thought, nobody does anything for readers, we get a fixture full of bookmarks at a bookstore and that's pretty much it. I wanted to make jewelry for people who loved to read, so in a way it would be like carrying that book around wherever you went. But more so, I could wear the words spoken by Jane Eyre or Elizabeth Bennet on my wrist, or wear the three Catherine wheels that John meticulously drew out for Katherine around my neck.

All the jewelry I keep has meaning to me, be it a really ugly heart necklace my mother gave me in 1978 or a plastic pin that I don't have a clue what it is, made by my once little boy. I wanted to design jewelry with meaning, like your favorite book, but beautiful, so when you wore it, people noticed and asked you about it. And you know how we are, when given the chance to talk about a favorite book, it just makes us happy!

I hope my jewelry makes you happy!

Michelle Moore


  1. I spent some time going through your site and checking all the jewelry. It's lovely and so evocative of your (and mine) favourite books... They are wonderful gifts for readers. Thanks for this guest post that allowed me to find them.

  2. What a great site! Thanks for telling us about it!

  3. Amazing piece! I think it's fantastic. :)

  4. Well, as you might be aware, I was one of those fans you refer to that found your website on Katherine, through my intense interest in finding out more about her and John, as well as being part of LOL. Hitting you over the head is about right in describing the intense feelings I get after reading books such as Katherine and Outlander. Thanks again for doing all the hard work of setting up the website, not to mention the jewellery designing - my Claire's ring never leaves my finger!