August pause

August pause

August is a funny month, a month when I press pause on normal cerebral activities. Day-to-day scheduling goes out the window, to be resumed in September as friends and family descend and road trips, the beach and lie-ins ensue. The old, grey matter goes into hibernation in favour of holidays and family obligations. In essence, I get dumber. In the City, a mandatory two-week sabbatical (anathema to Americans where the long-weekend reigns supreme) remains firmly entrenched as part of one’s annual holiday entitlement, something I embrace wholeheartedly. Traditionally upon returning from my sojourn tanned, rested and with nothing having occupied my brain but graduating my SPF coverage and a good bodice-ripping, Tudor-era page-turner, I could hardly remember the name of my employer, let alone how to analyse a bond. I should stress of course, this is pre-kiddies. These days not so much tanning and guilty-pleasure reading gets accomplished in between blowing up floaties and getting pruned in the pool.

So this year in keeping with my August tradition I’ve stepped back from the book and blogging, as evidenced, in favour of heading to the in-laws for some sea-side fun and frolics. But still the book lurks in the back of my mind, as though in the vain hope that if I’m thinking about it, ways to revise, improve upon and so on, I keep the old neurons firing and convince myself I’m working on it… ish. I’m a big fan of historical fiction and as part of my novel is indeed historical fiction (a love affair set during WWII) I like to constitute my penchant for Philippa Gregory and CJ Sansom as research. (I’m wondering if there is a clever way I could claim this in my tax return? Any tips welcome.) I’m half-way through The Lady of the Rivers and was glued to The White Queen and will freely admit that I am suffering a slight case of corset-drama withdrawal at its conclusion. For all its hammy acting and dubious historical accuracy I was impressed how Gregory deftly interpreted the mystery surrounding the Princes in the Tower and her rather sympathetic rendering of King Richard III. I’ve read most of her books and admire the way she weaves exhaustive research and knowledge with artistic license and her own literary interpretation so seamlessly.

I’m finding the historical element of my own book the most difficult to conjure as I struggle to forward the narrative and keep it interesting whilst maintaining the historical accuracy and integrity it deserves. But in spite of my partially atrophied brain I have had a breakthrough this week thanks to my father-in-law, who’s inspired me to change a key character which I think should lend the story more interest. As a former Naval officer, he understandably mocked the clichéd choice of service branch (RAF) I chose for my love interest in favour of his own highly-esteemed sea-faring military force. The more I thought about it, his option makes more sense and lends a certain credibility I feel has been lacking from the original story-line. Unfortunately, this means more work for me in the re-write, but the more I read about publishing the more resigned I am to the long, laborious process that lies before me. So anyway, thank-you Grampy. A signed copy awaits, just how long though I’m not sure.


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