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]

Mentoring

Mentoring

I want to find an aspiring new author I can help via one-to-one mentoring.

As my readers know, I tend towards an older/younger, mentor/student theme in many of my novels. At least, there is usually a more experienced character and a younger one who is not so experienced. Through the stories, the older mentors the younger, and sometimes it works the other way around, but this theme of passing on knowledge and experience is one that intrigues me and maybe that’s because I have a hankering for doing it myself. Mentoring, I mean, not the other stuff that goes on between the characters (inserts a knowing wink).

The Mentor of Lonemarsh HouseThe trouble I’ve had is finding a place where I can offer to do this. For example, I’ve posted in some of the Facebook gay writing groups offering a free service to anyone who is interested, and had a few replies, but mainly from people who missed the point of the offer. Maybe I need to reword it, but I don’t think so, it’s a simple offer.

Because of time and personal interest/experience, I’d be interested in working with a young, gay, male author who wants to improve their writing, someone with whom I can share my experience and thoughts, ideas, encouragement and knowledge, passing on what I have learned over the past 20 years as a professional writer. It’s as simple as that. I’m encouraging people to contact me and start a discussion so we can first find out more about each other to see if we can work together. Read my criteria, drop me an email, and we’ll take it from there.

The Stoker ConnectionAbout you
You want to start writing or improve your writing. Either way, you must be serious
You are a gay man over the age of 18, open to mentoring, advice and criticism
You are committed to developing your skills and listening to experience
You write in English
You are honest
Your writing doesn’t have to be MM romance, but it must be gay-men themed

About me
I have published 22 novels under two names
I am a married, gay man, English and educated to MSc level
I have won awards for my stories, musicals and film scripts
I earn my living through writing (yes, it can be done)

About the process
Contact me with a basic CV of your experience no matter if it’s limited
State what it is you want to achieve. Simply better writing? Developing a story?
Tell me about yourself
If you’re what I’m looking for, we’ll start an email discussion and take it from there.
I will reply to all emails honestly
I am not charging for this offer. In fact, if I think we are compatible, I will send you one of my books for free so you can read what I write and see if you think I’m for you
I can only take on one writer at a time
Our discussions will be private

So, there are no strings and no charge, but commitment and honesty are a must, and I can only accept one new writer at a time. Please double check the criteria and send me an email with your details. I’ll get back to you either way.

jack@jacksonmarsh.com

I look forward to hearing from you.