How Lancaster University Shaped my Novel

How Lancaster University Shaped my Novel -

Elspeth with her new novel

Last year, Elspeth Rushbrook (Religious Studies, 1995, County) shared a reflection on her 20 year anniversary of graduating.

"I thought about how the seeds that Lancaster planted weren’t all immediate and were wider than what the Religious Studies degree led to and enabled me to do. This is also true of my writing which has just come to fruition after 25 years. I finished my first set of novels whilst at Lancaster and send them off to be published as I graduated with a favourable response. I disguised them in academic folders!

Parallel Spiral’s prototype was also begun in a student room in County College. In many ways, it owes little to the story I’m sending out into the world, but the title and one of the themes came from this era of my life. And Lancaster does get a little mention from page 18. I met and fell in love with Norwich my current home and the novel’s setting whilst at Lancaster. It was here that I was introduced to Hegel’s thesis, antithesis, synthesis which is at the heart of my novel for I see that model applying to dramatic tension and our own lives.

Implicitly too the encouragement I received during and beyond my first degree from Linda Woodhead has been an adjunct, including the independence she commended me on which led to self publishing. You can read here why I chose to do so.

So again, I’m seeing how seeds planted, perhaps without full knowledge, shape how we grow and are part of what we reap many years on.

Parallel Spirals can be purchased via