Starting Again

This week’s Work In Progress blog update.

Bobby, a Life Worth Living, is doing well, and I have had some great feedback already. It’s wonderful to hear that his story resonates with so many people, and they have volunteered their own snippets of older relations’ stories. I am waiting for some leads so I can try and copy some of our interviews onto the PC and from there, to this website, so readers can hear Bobby talking about his past. That’s a project for the future, and I’ll let you know if I am successful.

Where There’s a Will is doing brilliantly in the charts, and has already gained some four- and five-star ratings. Good old Will!

A Case of Make Believe

Well now, this is the working title of Delamere book five, and Make Believe is written that way for a reason. The idea is to have someone be made to believe something and it’s all to do with magic acts and the Victorian passion for macabre shows, the famous decapitation tricks of the Egyptian Hall, and the weird and wonderful of Maskelyne and Cooke’s entertainments.

But not everything is going to plan, so the title may change, although the subject of this mystery won’t. I have already changed the first 14,000 words. Let me explain…

I began on the story, setting it in January 1893. On James Wright’s 30th birthday, actually, January 10th. By then, Delamere House has a housekeeper and a new detective. I started the story from Will’s point of view, and immediately had Jack and Jimmy setting off for Paris to solve an urgent case at the Paris Opera House.

This was to set things up for book six, which may well have something to do with a phantom at the Opera House (left), and thus, become the inspiration for the novel by Gaston Leroux, which he will publish in serial form, starting in 1909… but that’s another story.

Back at Delamere, we were introduced to the new housekeeper, and the new detective, and then a new case arrived at the end of chapter one, and in chapters two and three, Will said goodbye to Jack, and was left in charge of the agency and… It didn’t work. As soon as Jack and Will were separated, the thing fell flat. Add to that, too many new faces and too much domestic detail, and I knew I was off to a false start. So, I have set those first 14,000 words aside. (There’s a good idea in there for a short story, and I might well do another ‘1892’ for Christmas, maybe ‘1891’, I’ll see.)

Now, I have started again with the same villain in mind, and the same background, but I’m coming at it from a different angle. The story now opens with a piece by Larkin Chase, and he’s describing a theatrical event that, later in 1897, would become Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol, specialising in naturalistic horror shows. My version, in 1893, is a forerunner, if you like, and it’s a bit of make-believe itself because I am sure the mystery shows of the time didn’t go as far as Grand Guignol, but like the Phantom of the Opera, the Delamere case might well be the inspiration for creatives of the future.

So, that’s where we are.

This week’s promo to click on and check out for more reading, is all about MM Romance novels. This is running all month, the books are all available through Amazon, and there are plenty of your favourite niches and tropes included. Have a click and enjoy your reading!

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