Woking & Chobham edition R&A magazine, February 2021
A good story can take root in the most unusual way. And the seed for Mal Foster’s latest book was planted back in 1994, thanks to the lady running a Surrey Museum stand at the annual Bisley Fayre.
“It was a very informed conversation about this young local girl who was tragically wronged by her employer towards the end of the 19th century,” Mal tells me. “The story stuck, so much so that this was the novel I always going
Jude & Bliss is Mal’s fourth novel, inspired by this real-life tragedy which ultimately contributed for calls of national reform to help protect young women and girls working in domestic
“The death of Emily Jane Popejoy in 1896 was chilling in itself,” adds Mal. “It’s a sad tale.”
Jude & Bliss is set In 1896 and tells
the story of Jude Rogers, a wide-eyed but vulnerable 16-yearold who secures a position as a domestic servant at a large terraced house in Half Moon Street, near London’s Piccadilly.
Following a brief settling-in
period, she quickly realises everything is not quite as it seems. Jude finds herself in the most impossible of situations and finally succumbs to the pure evil dealt out by her employer... This book is not for the fainthearted!
Who is Mal’s favourite author? “Leonard Cohen. I have always been enthralled by his novel The Favourite Game which I have read more than once."
What advice would Mal give anyone reading this who
wants to write their own book? “If you have an idea, stick with it and persevere,” he advises, “Become your own protagonist as if you were playing that person on stage or in a film. You will find your other characters will form themselves
and help build the very essence of your book.”
An established and award-winning poet and former local journalist, Mal was born in 1956 and has lived in Woking since the late 1980s. He loves the area’s rich
history, adding: “When you dig deep, you will find it fascinating... My favourite haunt has to be the Garibaldi pub in Knaphill. Always good food and drink and excellent service.”
Jude & Bliss is available
in paperback and Kindle formats from Amazon.co.uk. and other online outlets. It can also be ordered from all good bookshops. ISBN 979-8550129265.
For more information about Mal & his other books, please visit malfoster.co.uk
Reproduced: Courtesy Liz Nicholls, Round & About Magazine