Weeks and months have flown by since the last post on this Blog; almost thirteen weeks in fact! How time flies when you are having fun, or are too busy to notice its passing! In my case it has definitely been a combination of the two.
Having no intention of regaling you with the ins and outs and comings and goings of everyday life here in Antigua, it is enough to say that after a period of settling into a new home in unfamiliar surrounds, it was down to writing. Work on the book advances. Long days at the keyboard are now the norm. Not that I am complaining, its work but it is fun too. My aim is to have it completed by the end of the year. From the current vantage point that does not appear to be an issue as I am making daily progress.
Exploring the past and putting it into a form that is entertaining and enlightening is an enjoyable and rewarding task. Discovering how little you know despite having done swathes of research over many years can be surprising and shocking. When writing historical fiction there are always facts to be checked, new information to assessed, new interpretations to be evaluated and some or all perhaps incorporated into the story.
Then there is the story itself; will it hold the reader’s interest, will it entice and intrigue the reader to the end. The subject matter may be enough for some diehard fans but for others a good tale told well is the necessary meat in the sandwich. Sometimes the meat can be thick and grisly, even unpalatable, but the nourishment, the sustenance gained from the effort expended can provide resources for life-long rumination. And isn’t that what reading a good book is all about, enlargement of the human spirit?
The goal of every writer is to have what they write read; there is no point to writing otherwise, other than perhaps as a cathartic therapy. Even in this situation though I would hazard to guess the writer, at least, would read their own work. I can vouchsafe this fact in my experience. As an aspiring author, writing has become a way to pour out my own soul in a manner that may connect with the life of others. Yes I admit I want to influence people’s lives, but I write for myself as much as for them. I need to be regularly reminded of the wonders of life, its joys and sorrows, and the value of each. Writing historical fiction allows me to explore the past, delve into the experiences, and even souls, of people who lived in times and places outside of my own limited world and discover a shared humanity, flawed and heroic.
I hope I can provide a small touch of reality – beautiful, terrible or sublime, to all who eventually read my work.