Back and Forward in Time

Writing historical novels has been a great experience, both A Court in Splendour and The Bardic Monk, pushed my concentration to get under the skin of characters out of history, either those imagined or those who came from history as we know it.My narrator in both books, Walter Map, was a contemporary of Gerald of Wales, and his own book de Nugis Curialum (Courtiers’ Trifles) is full of odd stories, but only offers small clues to his personality. Research is as necessary to a historical novel as the act of writing it, and I enjoyed it all, but I am also really happy to revert to writing material based in fairly current times, the modern idiom is more straightforward, and no matter how many people tell me that the historical books have a ring of the period about which they are written, I am equally happy writing something from the 20th or 21st century.
Suddenly with the third book in my Grace Series, A Fall from Grace, I am back in my own time, and feeling an ease and spontaneous pleasure with seeing the pages filling up with words, the ideas spilling out and the characters moving toward a satisfying conclusion.
It seems that several people are enjoying the Grace books, and of course for me it would be great if several became more, but I had an email from one of those who has read both those which are available on Amazon Kindle (or Kindle app.for phone or tablet) The Rules of Heaven and A Thorn in the Flesh. This email came with the assertion that in the reader’s opinion that it would make really good television, and they would like to see Grace played by Eleanor Bron, with which I entirely agree, and it has increased my enthusiasm for the work. Could this be the future I ask myself? From thinking I had become a writer of historical novels, to developing the work with a character I originally invented at least fifteen years ago, might there be more of them ahead. I’ll say it here. I would like the Grace series to run to ten books! If I have time of course.

A Riot of Readers and Writers

At a pre-Christmas event held in the town for Cardigan’s writers yesterday, a sizeable group gathered to share tasters of current work either in progress or newly published. Reading aloud from poetry and novels, short stories and synopses, the writers offered some splendid material. I opened the readings myself, by sharing a passage from my new novel ‘The Bardic Monk’ which is due for release in January by Llanerch Press. So much for historical fiction! Beyond that we had poetry, contemporary, observational and scathing. thanks to Jackie Biggs and Dave Urwin of the Cellar Bards. In prose we had adventures of a hybrid outsider in a science-fantasy currently doing the rounds of the publishers, The Order of Light by Euian Rogers. The travels of a celebrated grandfather who brought back one hundred animals for the London Zoo, hopefully to be released before too long, by Jonathan Guinness. The gauche attempts of an English land agent attempting to settle into a Welsh village in the 1950s, Mr Tim by Peter George and a story of the exactitude of flying expeditions in Going Tactical by Huw Baumgartner.

Thanks to the presence of partners and friends in the audience – all readers and lovers of books, who laughed, sighed and paid appropriate riotous appreciation of the feast of words laid before them, it was a local but sensational small gathering, much enjoyed by everyone.