Research

Research

My collection of research books for the new series I am writing is expanding. The Clearwater Mysteries series is set in Victorian times (1888) and set in a city which is clearly London, but because I need to take liberties with history, I have made it an ‘imaginary London of 1888’. When I say liberties, I mean, for example, in book one of the series, the Ripper is killing men, not women, and so I am mixing fact with fiction.

In my stories (The Clearwater Mysteries), as in truth, the identity of the Ripper is never known, except in my series, we do know who he is, and we see what he went on to do after those crimes ended. We also find out why. In other places, I have stayed close to the facts but not quite, using some real locations, basing characters and their names on people of the time or near the time. Example, in book four, ‘Fallen Splendour’ (still in editing and not yet published), I have a barrister called Sir Easterby Creswell. I took his name from a real judge in the 19th century called Sir Creswell Creswell (whose family name was Easterby), and so on.

Over the weekend, I received two more books to add to the collection of things to be read when I take time off from writing. So far, I have collected several actual books, which I prefer, and a few Kindles. I find Kindle good for when I want some information now and don’t want to have to wait two weeks for an online order to arrive. If the book is something I will keep and use again, I’ll then order a paper or hardback copy.

Off the top of my head (I am in the study at 4.30 a.m., and the books are scattered around the house, and I don’t want to make noise by searching for them), I have gathered books about the stately homes of England, Victorian buildings, the Cleveland Street scandal of 1889, life in Victorian London, Jack the Ripper (I already have several), a collection of writings by ordinary people of the time, first-hand accounts of daily life etc., a book on the railways, the history of the Ukraine, ‘The Sins of Jack Saul’ and Saul’s allegedly penned, er, ‘novel’ about the life of a male street worker in those days, a dictionary of Victorian slang, a Bradshaw’s guide (1886, reprint), and several railways maps from the time. There are others, but I expect you’re getting bored by now. What I am looking for next is a good Atlas of the country from around that time, something as detailed as the large, green-cover Readers’ Digest atlas we used to have when younger.

[Here’s the link to the first three books of the series, The Clearwater Mysteries]

Unspeakable Acts published

Unspeakable Acts published

The good news of this week is that part three of The Clearwater Mysteries has now been published. Unspeakable Acts is available from Amazon Kindle, KU and in paperback. Here is the link to the .com listing, but the book is available through co.uk and other Amazon domains. Unspeakable Acts.

The Clearwater Mysteries runs in order, so if you haven’t read parts one and two, you are advised to do that first. Each book builds on the stories that have gone before as the world grows, the character count increases and the villains stack up to oppose Viscount Clearwater and his team of faithful friends/servants/lovers – there is some crossover between roles depending on who is with whom and at what time.

The next part of the series, ‘Fallen Splendour’ is currently in the typewriter, as it were. I am up to 50,000 words on that one, about halfway through, having spent a week on the Greek island of Tilos composing the story and clues, researching and writing. I was able to put down 35,000 words in five days there as I have no distractions. Well, none apart from the sea, but I am not a great swimmer, and the tavernas and village square. Now I am home, I am having to fit in daily life, distractions and paid work (only four hours a day, but still a nuisance) but the book is marching on. I’m aiming for an August/September release for part four, and there will be more about it soon.

Meanwhile, catch up with Archer, Silas, Thomas, James and Fecker by starting with ‘Deviant Desire’ and a hunt for the East End Ripper. Then move on to ‘Twisted Tracks’ for a “Catch me if you can” mystery thriller and a bumpy train ride, before heading to the opera house for ‘Unspeakable Acts.’ I won’t say too much about part four (no spoilers allowed), but so far, we have been to Bow Street police station, become lost in a blizzard and learnt a fair amount about the poetry of Tennyson, the Poet Laureate in 1888. More to come on this developing story before too long.

Jackson Marsh Author profile at Amazon for a list of all my titles

Unspeakable Acts is on its way

Unspeakable Acts is on its way

Hi

I thought it was high time I updated you with what I have been doing. Writing of course! Actually, I have been away for a week writing a block of part four of The Clearwater Mysteries (which I will tell you about in a moment). While I was doing that, my wonderful proofreader was working through Unspeakable Acts, book three in the series.

This series launched in March with Deviant Desire, and that has already become my top-selling title, outselling even the Mentor series – more or less, in the last two months alone. It is followed by Twisted Tracks, another mashup romance, adventure, mystery, historical novel, and that will soon be followed by Unspeakable Acts.

 

I don’t want to give away any spoilers of course, and it’s hard to tell you what’s happening in parts two and three without spoiling the end of part one, Deviant Desire, so you will have to bear with me. Where Deviant Desire is about the Ripper killings of East London in 1888 – but not the real killings, they were just the inspiration as my story concerns rent boys as victims – Twister Tacks saw our band of four become a band of five. Archer (Lord Clearwater), his new, younger lover, Silas, his best mate the Ukrainian hulk, Andrej (Fecker) and the lithe and lush footman, Thomas (red hair, slim body, big dick, right up my street) are joined by the new love of Thomas’ life, James. Twisted Tracks takes them to the North York Moors and a chase involving a stream train; very exciting.

My writing desk at home

Part three takes place a few weeks later. Archer is launching his Foundation to assists street boys of the East End with a gala performance at the City opera house. There’s nasty work afoot though as a villain, or villains seeks to discredit Archer and his charity, expose his homosexuality and bring the house down on his success and fortune. His team, of course, have other ideas and in this story, it’s Silas and James who take the lead, bonding as new friends and perhaps finding themselves a little more attracted to each other than their boyfriends would like. I’ll say no more, except Unspeakable Acts will be out later in June.

My writing table while I was away

I was away on a Greek island called Tilos, where I sometimes go to write away from home distractions. I live on the next island across so it’s easy to get to. While there, over my six-day stay, I managed to write the first 35,000 words of the first draft of book four. I also had to invent clues for the mystery, research Victorian railways and times and do a lot of other research. When you have only the sea view and a few tavernas for company, it’s amazing how much you can get done. Book four, Fallen Splendour is still only a quarter first-drafted, but the story is plotted. I have my nephew staying with us at present, so writing is on hold for the rest of this week. After that, Unspeakable Acts will be formatted and released, and I will get back to Fallen Splendour, aiming to have it ready for you by August or September.

My morning view ( my home island is in the distance)

Thanks for reading the blog and the books and remember, if you like what you read, please post reviews and tell everyone in Social Media groups. Thank you.

Tilos
And home again