You know that theory, the one that believes that declaring your aims publicly helps you to achieve them; a bit like New Year’s Resolutions I guess. If the whole world knows you are trying to give up smoking, lose weight or run a marathon, then you feel you have a greater obligation to deliver. So, this is where I nail my own proverbial colours to the mast. A few people know that, since my last writing project finished, I have been toying with moving from non-fiction to fiction. I had a story in my head; I may still write it one day but then, suddenly, a new story has taken hold and won’t let me go. The characters and their lives have been whirling through my brain for a few months; I’ve tried to push them aside whilst other things needed attention but they hammer at my being when I least expect it. So, you heard it here first, one day there will be a novel, if I live that long. It was this or study for an MA in experimental archeaology – I may still do that. This is, in theory, cheaper and will be a more flexible commitment and anyway it just won’t wait. I don’t want to be the next best seller – that’s probably just as well – I just want to tell a story that is clamouring to escape.
I haven’t written fiction since my angst-ridden teenage years but I owe it to the heroines of my story to try to resurrect any talent that I may have had then, phoenix-like, from the ashes of my later middle years (I refuse to say old age). There will be no spoilers but from time to time, I will be blogging progress reports. Don’t expect tallies of thousands of words a day – oh well, if you must ask, 637 words so far. Predictably, this is a story set in the past, not the seventeenth century as you might expect but the more recent past, so I have plenty of research that needs doing along the way and progress in terms of words on pages will be slow. Periodically, you may see impassioned pleas for help from experts in x, y and z. The current x, y and z are diptheria, living with an anorexic adult child and coroner’s court procedure – any takers? You may even read of the harvest that I garner as a result of these research labours, or the frustrations as I furrow stonier ground.
My characters were all real people, dangerous I know. There will be none of this ‘any resemblance to real people living or dead is purely coincidental’ lark. The main events actually happened but the very raw, very real and in some ways very modern emotions, like the dynamics between the characters, I am having to weave from my imagination, empathy and best guesses. From the clues I have given, some of you will know whose story I am going to tell. I promise that I will try to deal fairly with all who tiptoe through my pages, or indeed crash boldly across my keyboard. I will not be altering the facts that I can uncover but this will be fiction not family history, so I will be inventing likely incidents and encounters to paint on to the factual canvas. Look out for the #Daisy to join the journey.