and some adventures from lockdown....
Of course, us authors have been self-isolating since 4000 B.C., however, this little gad-about has had her wings well and truly clipped in 2020. So, with no social life or travel to distract me, I've quietly got on with my research for my new series of Gemma James Mysteries, the first book of which I've decided to call: Smoke & Cracked Mirrors.
I trawled through 1940's newspapers online; ordered and read a couple of obscure 1920's books from an antiquarian bookshop in the US; watched WW2 documentaries on TV and underwent a massive reading programme to re-acquaint myself with the 'Golden Age of Crime Fiction'. Most of the books I've read have been eBooks but the photo below shows a selection of the paperbacks/hardbacks I've acquired.
I made email contact with the staff at York Central Library, who have been incredibly helpful - but unknown to them, I also managed to get myself locked in their grounds during one of my visits to the deserted streets of this historic city.
The library was shut but I decided to take a few photos of the outside of the 1930s building. I found an open gate and wandered off down a path. There's a Roman wall at the bottom of their garden (as so often happens in York) and I was distracted by this for a while. When I returned, the 6 ft high, spiked gate had been locked. There was no way I was getting over that. I had to hail a passing electrician who went and fetched out a male librarian to release me. He gave me a funny look but thankfully, didn't ask for my name. York Library has several of my novels on their shelves and I really don't want them to know what a daft idiot I can be.
I also bought three non-fiction books about wartime York from a masked bookshop owner while standing outside the shop in the historic, cobbled street. This enterprising lady had opened her business but was serving everyone from over a tressle table blocking the door. She wouldn't let anyone handle the books so I told her what I wanted and she read out the blurb from the back covers and the chapter headings. I bought three. It was an interesting and unusual form of customer service but those books were incredibly helpful and as you can see from the photo below of my planning, I'm now ready to start writing.
Those postcards only represent HALF of the novel (I got bored of writing them out at this point). But I know from experience that once I get going, I may be able to finish the story without postcards.
Anyway, wish me luck. I aim to write 20,000 words a month, which should still give me plenty of time to potter in my garden and play with my grandson, Little Bruce.
Hopefully, the first draft of Smoke & Cracked Mirrorsshould be finished by Xmas.
Best wishes - and stay safe.
Karen Charlton x