I am pausing from blogging about the fascinating little village of Rennes-le-Chateau in order to tell you about the new novel which I will be publishing later this month. It is called Riversmeet – Starting Out and I attach a picture of the cover. This is a different book for me in several ways.
Firstly it is not an adventure/thriller or a whodunit as most of my others have been. This is a semi-historical saga set in South Devon in England in the early post Second World War years. It was a period when a new type of Britain was emerging from the chaos of the first half of the twentieth century.
Secondly it is a novel primarily about the development of the characters, rather than concentrating on action. The central character (he is not really a hero) is a clever young man finding his way in the world under considerable difficulties. He is experiencing an awakening both sexually and financially. The other characters around him are also developing in their different ways – both in relation to him and to each other – and they are all reacting to the new socialist, property-owning democracy in which they now find themselves.
The other difference is that this novel is nearly twice as long as my previous novels (about 145,000 words). I discovered, when I was writing it, that the story seemed to be taking over from me and extending all by itself as it developed, So, although this first book is complete in itself, I have come to realise that Riversmeet is only the first volume of what will become at least a trilogy. In fact I have already moved on to the planning of the second volume and approximately twenty thousand words have flowed out of me. So much for writer’s block!
The further aspect of the novel is that it is written about a period and is set in locations where I have myself lived and gained experiences. That is not to say that the work is in any way autobiographical. None of the characters could be recognized as people who I might have known in my youth. However many of the experiences and events which I recount are linked to those which I (at least in part) remember from my time when I was living in South Devon.
I hope that my readers will enjoy Riversmeet and (if they do) will let me have their comments so that I can continue and hopefully improve the second volume in the knowledge that it will find a welcoming readership when it comes out in about a year’s time.
Next week I will tell you some more about what life was like sixty years ago in Southern England..