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The art of storytelling: Staffordshire artist gets ready to publish her first novel

By day Caroline Deighton was bringing her traditional and whimsical British landscapes to life with her paintbrush.

Caroline Deighton with her romantic fantasy novel The Jewel of Arcturus
Caroline Deighton with her romantic fantasy novel The Jewel of Arcturus

And by night she was creating a mythical world for the characters in her first romantic fantasy novel, The Jewel of Arcturus.

The professional artist, from Eccleshall, is now looking forward to the book's publication in the coming weeks.

Caroline, who has dyslexia, began writing the story during the first lockdown and is hoping her experience will encourage others in a similar position to never to give up.

"I've never be very academic, I've always been more creative. I remember walking with my mum one day and telling her that I wanted to write a book.

"The idea for the book just came to me. I always been drawn to Scotland, castles and medieval times.

"When you walk around these castles, I've always wondered what it would be like to step back in time and see what it was like.

"Originally I was just writing it for myself and my friends and family. Because of my dyslexia, I can write a sentence but it will be full of spelling mistakes so it did take a long time.

"I put a lot of effort it to and the feedback was really good so I approached a couple of publishers," she explains.

Caroline secured a deal with Publishing Press for her book which centres on the character of Leah, who discovers a dusty old chest hidden away in the attic, revealing that her grandmothers hails from another land.

After the truth about her grandmother's past starts to unfold and driven by visions in her dreams, Leah decided to leave the comfort of 21st century England for medieval Arcturus.

Caroline started writing her book during the first Covid lockdown

"There she discovers that her life has been predetermined to in tertwine with two warriors and a young carpenter. Together they set out to rid the kingdom of Alina, Leah's aunt.

"With only the words of an old magical book which writes warnings of the future, they aim to destroy Alina and the powerful stone she has used to hold the kingdom within her shadows.

"Where winds blow so cold they can freeze the warmest of hearts, can love find its way through?," reads the synopsis.

Leah shares some of the same character traits as Caroline, who grew up in rural Cheshire, such as her curiosity.

"I always want to know what's around the next corner. There's a probably a bit of me in Leah. She's quite stubborn and determined.

"The book is very people-orientated. There's lot of big characters with strong personalities," she explains.

Having extra spare time during lockdown worked to Caroline's advantage as she was able to dedicate it to writing her book.

"I needed something to occupy my brain. I wasn't going out, I wasn't seeing my friends, I was walking my dog al the time and that was giving me time to think. Because I'm a creative person, ideas for the book came visually to me.

"I would go to bed thinking 'where is the book going next?' and I would wake up in the middle of the night with an idea," she tells Weekend.

"I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed writing it. I had just moved to the countryside, there was no noise and distractions and I was able to get lost in the world of Arcturus.

"When I started writing it was like when you have a really good book you're enjoying and you don't want to put it down. I wanted to carry on writing.

"I was painting during the day and I was desperate to get back to writing.

"I would be writing until 11.30-11.45pm and would have to remind myself to go to bed," adds Caroline.

Now she has found a new passion, she plans to continue balancing writing alongside her day job of being an artist.

Caroline is a professional artist, specialising in traditional and whimsical British landscapes

Her colourful, contemporary landscapes inspired by the British countryside are sold in galleries across the UK as prints and originals.

A keen hill walker, her pieces are often influenced by visits to the Lake District, Scotland and Wales and she specialises in a mixed medium of oil and acrylic paint on canvas board.

"There is a couple who appear in every painting, they might be walking in a VW Beetle or a hot air balloon.

"I also like having something in the painting that draws your eye to the distance like mountains or a sunset," explains Caroline.

Now she is looking forward to the moment she can hold her own book in her hands.

"I'm excited to get the book, hold it in my hand, flip through the pages and see my own work and for people to start reading it because that's what it's all about.

"Hopefully the book does well. I've already started on the sequel - I've still got the writing bug," Caroline tells Weekend.

The Jewel of Arcturus is due to be published by Publishing Push by the start of September and will available from all major online book stores, including Amazon and Waterstones.

For more information and publishing updates, see or

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