Thursday, February 08, 2007

Feral Princelings and Chilly Mornings

I received a letter from my Uncle Harry in Dunoon, Scotland yesterday. My Aunt Thelma was so impressed with the photos I sent them of the Princelings she took the pictures to their golf club to show off our kitties! Uncle Harry told me if they ever went feral they would terrorize the surrounding countryside and residents would be out with their shotguns. He is so right! I can just see one of the neighbors aiming at them with a shotgun. The wily Fergus would dash under the shooter’s sights and take a bite out of his behind before streaking into the underbrush. Sinji, on the other hand, would turn his limpid whisky colored gaze upon the lady of the house, his paw pushing delicately on his still writhing prey, and beg the lady to fillet his gecko for him. After all, a clown prince cannot possibly be expected to prepare his own food!

Those two do lead us a lively dance. Ahem, a very lively one last week when we packed them up to visit the vet. We have the scratches to prove it. The Princelings do not care to be cooped up in pet carriers or go for car rides. However, the reception they were accorded made up for any discomfort they suffered. They were worshipped by employee and customer alike. The meds prescribed them, for possible heartworm and non-existent fleas, went over like a cabbage dinner. Sinji and Fergus are great connoisseurs of carpet fuzz, fur balls, and cockroaches but give them a p-i-l-l stuffed in a succulent flake of tuna and the p-i-l-l isn’t touched! They will consume nearly anything that hits the floor, but not, of course, something they are supposed to eat.

We are experiencing quite the cold snap. Nothing compared to anyone not living in the tropics, of course, but it is chilly for us. The other morning the temperature read 53F! I went searching for my trusty tower quartz heater I’ve had hidden in storage for such contingencies only to find it no longer worked! As we don’t have a furnace I was forced to grab a cat to keep warm.

Loren and I are anticipating our trip to L.A. and Anaheim next week. He’s looking forward to golfing at a few exclusive clubs like Bel Air Country Club, Brentwood CC, Wilshire CC and Los Angeles CC. Although Loren enjoys golf he says he wouldn’t play if he had to pay for it. In my opinion, the best place for a golf club is in the golf bag. I’m going shopping.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Questions and Answers on Writing the Early 20th Century Novel

A few questions I've been asked on writing an early 20th century novel ~
1) Is it harder to write a recent time than say, a medieval or ancient book?
I think it's easier to write more recent history because I can interview eyewitnesses and people who lived during those times. I love listening to firsthand accounts! My maternal grandmother was head nanny to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire's daughters. Did she have stories to tell! My maternal grandad was an under-butler in the same household. I always looked forward to their stories. I listened avidly to my father's war stories as well. He served in the BEF (British Expedionary Force) and was evacuated at Dunkirk. He went on to serve in Calcutta and Burma in the British Indian Army. Unfortunately, my maternal grandfather (British Army) wouldn't speak of his experiences in the Great War. My paternal granddad (also British Army) did speak a bit. He spent most of the war as a prisoner of war in Germany. If I can find anyone else to tell me their stories of the past I listen:-)
2) Must you visit the location where your book is set?
Everyone has an opinion on whether an author must visit the place he/she writes about. I don't believe that. After all, how many historical writers have been to the year they are writing about? By the same token, do murder mystery writers have to commit murder to get it totally correct?
Although I've spent a great deal of time in both England and Scotland, I've never been to India or Germany. The climax of BLOOD MOON OVER BRITAIN, takes place in St. Just-in-Penwith, Cornwall. I spent two weeks there and a great deal of time following the cliffpaths detailed in the book. I knew at the time those paths would find their way into a book:-) No wonder Daphne du Maurier wrote almost exclusivley of Cornwall. It's quite inspiring.
3) What inspired you to write your books?
The stories my father told me of his time in WWII India inspired BLOOD MOON OVER BENGAL.
The inspiration for BLOOD MOON OVER BRITAIN came from a book I read, A MAN CALLED INTREPID. When it was released in the mid '70s it was a bombshell because it detailed espionage secrets about WWII. It's an account of the foremost Allied spy, his actions, and the German Enigma machine.
Ken Follet's and Alistair McLean's books inspired me to write PERFIDA, a thriller set inside the Third Reich.
4) What do you do if you've been away from your wip for a while or hit a dry spot while writing?
I read books set in the time period I'm writing about and period movies/dvds. Also, I make a point to read my very favorite authors when I'm working on a book.