Zaffre signs Ellee Seymour for royal series set in WW1
Zaffre, the flagship fiction imprint of Bonnier Books UK, is “thrilled to announce” that it will publish local author Ellee Seymour’s new series of historical royal sagas, starting with the First World War-set The Royal Station Master’s Daughters.
The three novels in the series are set in the village of Wolferton, Norfolk, on the royal Sandringham estate.
A Zaffre spokesperson said: “Wolferton became famous due to its association with several generations of the royal family, who used the station on their way to Sandringham House, starting from 1863 when Prince Edward and Princess Alexandra moved there following their wedding, up until its closure in 1969.
“The series revolves around the three daughters of Harry Saward, who was the Royal Station Master there for 40 years from 1884, giving the family a unique position within its community.”
The Royal Station Master’s Daughters is Elle’s debut saga novel. She previously wrote The Shop Girls, a true story of life in an elegant ladies department store from 1940s-1960s, published in 2014.
She was inspired to bring the stories of Harry Saward and his family to life after learning about them from his great grandson, Brian Heath, and great niece, Penny Coe. Seymour said: “I have long been fascinated by the unique station at Wolferton with its plush royal waiting rooms, imagining how it would have been for royals steaming in on their ‘palaces on wheels’. I wanted to bring these stories to life against the WW1 backdrop and the Sandringham Company’s disappearance in Gallipoli. Harry Saward and his three daughters were in the thick of this tragedy unfolding around them and make the perfect characters to tell this extraordinary story."
Zaffre senior editor Claire Johnson-Creek said the publisher had acquired world English language rights, including audio, for three novels from Hannah Weatherill at Northbank Talent Management.
Claire said: “I am incredibly excited to be publishing this brilliant new series. A World War I story combined with this special look into the lives of the British royal family come together so well, and Ellee Seymour has captured the perspective of this uniquely placed family perfectly. It’s a real treat for saga fans.”
Hannah said: “Ellee is a wonderful writer with a real passion for social history, so I can’t think of anyone better to write about these young women during the early days of WWI, when lives changed and women took on new roles in this small village and around the country. I can’t wait for readers to fall in love with the characters and the Wolferton community.”
The first book in the series will publish as an ebook in August, with the paperback following in April 2022.