How a Sussex farmer became a best selling author

A man who went from running a Sussex dairy farm to being a prize winning, best selling author releases his latest novel in March with a local signing.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 27th February 2019, 11:09 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th February 2019, 11:10 am
Richard Masefield 1 SUS-190220-102833001
Richard Masefield 1 SUS-190220-102833001

Richard Masefield has writing in his blood, being the cousin of famous poet John Masefield, who once advised a young Richard ‘Always carry paper with you and a pencil with youto jot down thoughts whenever and wherever they occur.’

His fourth book, The White Cross, shines a fresh light on the age-old link between religious faith and armed aggression.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Richard Masefield SUS-190220-103007001

Movingly, it traces a young couple’s search for love and understanding in the brutal time of the Third Crusade.

The White Cross is the latest in the author’s series of historical novels, all of them compelling adventures in their own right but together spanning more than eight hundred years of history, to follow the fortunes of two local families from medieval Lewes to the smuggling trade along the Kent and Sussex coasts, through Regency Brighton and the cataclysm of the First World War to the impact of the swinging sixties on an unsuspecting Eastbourne.

Richard said: “I was married then with three young children, and for six back-breaking years milked Friesian cows twice a day to pay the bills – only returning to writing when milk became unprofitable. Ideas for my first novel, Chalkhill Blue, were scrawled on the paper towels I used for drying the cows’ udders in the milking parlour; and that book launched my literary career.”

That novel not only helped to save the farm when milk became unprofitable, but won him a literary award, sold an option for a TV mini-series, has so far appeared in seven editions and topped the Amazon bestsellers list.

Richard added: “Since then I’ve worked for a number of years as a care manager and teacher of children and young adults with special needs, whilst still farming livestock at home. Eventually retiring to cross the border into Kent.

“I remain devoted to the English countryside, its wildlife and its agriculture, and am keen to help preserve as much of it as possible for future generations.”

All Richard’s novels are partially set in Sussex and although descriptions of the Sussex landscape permeate his stories, he also sends his characters to far-flung locations across the world – to Palestine, South Africa, Colombia, the cane fields of Queensland and early penal colony of New South Wales.

Richard will be signing copies of the White Cross the at Waterstones Rye Bookshop, in the High Street, on March 14. Waterstones in Hasting are also ordering his Sussex books. His books are available through Amazon.

Fore more about Richard Masefield and more details of his Sussex books visit