This is just a small taste of the opening pages of the novel, Reliquary, Book One of The Peregrinus Series, which I hope to e- and print-publish in the next few weeks.
The inspiration for my latest book, Reliquary, originally came from the research I carried out for the previous trilogy called The Triptych Chronicle. In the process of seeking facts on rare and valuable merchandise that may have been traded in the twelfth century, I came across mention of a silk called byssus and which is still harvested in the Mediterranean from a species of shellfish.
This is one of those chatty posts, as though you and I might be sitting across a café table from each other and we are meeting for the first time. I’m drinking a cappuccino with a coffee macaron on the side. And you? You’re having a coffee as well? Excellent.
You want to know what I do?
Over the years, I’ve often commented on how inspirational Dorothy Dunnett’s writing has been to me as I tread the path.
Once a couple of years ago, I was asked to write a piece for the Dorothy Dunnett Society’s august journal, Whispering Gallery, on the nature of shock or more particularly, what I found to be the most shocking piece of writing in Dunnett.
I appear not to have written a post on my reading since September last year! And that, my friends, is not a good thing.
In September of 2020, I remember saying it might be good, with my birthday and Christmas approaching, to receive book vouchers for my favourite stores. But no, it was not to be.
Instead, but just as appreciated, I received garden-nursery vouchers, which I have started to use this last week. Gardening for me is as much a passion as reading.
But also, summer came and I try never to go near the city during summer – a waste of my time, so I stay happily ensconced in our coastal garden by the sea. Which of course makes my Kindle and the all-important Amazon and Audible bookshops vital. Here, by the sea, where I can hear the waves and watch the seabirds, I have no need to drive into the city, park the car, walk through crowds to get to a bookshop. It’s all done with the click of fingers and buttons.
When I write a novel, I always scan the screen for likely people to inspire my characters.
I will spend time watching their movements, how they speak, trying to pick up nuances that build brick upon brick.
So these are the faces/actors whose work helped me with Reliquary…
Recently I was offered an ARC of Paris in Ruins by MK Tod in return for an honest review.
Until now, my knowledge of MK Tod had been the most inspired surveys not just about historical fiction but about readers’ attitudes. In my opinion, her surveys are state of the art from year to year and required reading for any hist.fict author.
I hadn’t read any of her other work and had no idea of her creative style. I approached Paris in Ruins with some trepidation as it’s not a chosen timeframe and I may well have bypassed it on a shelf.
Simply, I would have missed a polished and well-contrived novel. What a beautifully written and well-framed and mounted drama.
What does one do while one is waiting for the editor to do his thing on one’s latest book?
Well I can’t in all honesty begin a new book, because I might get crossed-wires and confuse character arcs. But I have done a little reading, future proofing, if you like – about the great heresies of the twelfth centuries which is background for the next book.
Once, some time ago, 22nd December 2018 to be exact, I had a dream about a young illuminator monk.