How soon do you share the secret of your next book?
You cannot imagine how wonderful it is to be writing fairly regularly again. I hesitated over the word ‘wonderful.’ Should I have said fulfilling, satisfying, rewarding ~ even therapeutic or a HUGE RELIEF! After eighteen months abstention (predominantly to settle into our new life here in Fife) I am over half way through writing my next novel now and the ideas are flowing. I have made a few false starts over these months but the seeds of this book have laid dormant, waiting for the right conditions to germinate and grow.
Writing my current book, however, is a totally different experience to all the novels I’ve completed in the past where I have involved friends, family and experts in various fields of history from the outset. For my second novel ‘Ancasta’ I even had a fishing lesson!
Why is this different? Because I have shared my ideas with no one as yet. It is a secret burning within and I’m so excited about it. It is like an unborn child.
What I can say is that it is not part of my historical fiction series, which will disappoint many of my readers I know. It is also not memoir but it is a mystery ~ in fact several mysteries. The location? I’m not ready to share that as yet either.
When the time comes I am going to try to find five beta readers, but I don’t think I want these to be friends or family, as I have done in the past. I would love them to be discerning readers and writers.
If you’d like to offer to be a beta reader then please drop me an email email@example.com. You would be one of the first people I’d share my secret with. Would you like me to reciprocate too or if you are a reader, would you like a signed copy when it is published? Just let me know.
Many thanks Diana Jackson
ps my reviews of Scottish authors will begin in December.
This question was posed to me the other day and got me thinking. Even in my own writing my favourite character isn’t always the protagonist.
In ‘Riduna‘ for example, my first novel ~ historical fiction set on the island of Alderney in the Victorian era, Harriet, the protagonist, is key to every part of the story. A quarryman’s daughter, Harriet is the person who binds the others together and, as the author, I know her intimately. I can describe her life from the moment she was born through to adult hood and middle age. I have not killed her off as yet but feel sure that I will know her as an old woman too ~ but is she my favourite character? No, actually she isn’t!
It is Jane who intrigues me most. There is a bit of mystery about her. I only know of Jane’s life as she arrives on Riduna from mainland Britain as a teenager. Having lost her mother she is brought up by her father, who is the island’s doctor. Jane is well educated and intelligent in a mature and thoughtful way. She finds herself in a society where class isn’t as distinctive as back in the UK. As Harriet’s best friend she is a leveler and yet she is also a dreamer. It is she who travels the world in her career as a nurse. She chooses ambition over love, marriage and babies. Is this totally fulfilling for her? At the end of Riduna she begins to take her chosen course, but it is in my second novel Ancasta that we see her fulfilling her ambitions. We also see her threading back into Harriet’s life. She is always the steady influence, even though their outlook on life is so contrasting.
I am fond of Jane for her loyalty to Harriet and yet she is her own person. A good friend is not one who smothers or submits but is one of mutual respect. A friendship should be supportive but also allow each to be themselves.
Diana Jackson is the author of The Riduna Series which can be found on her Amazon page .Riduna is currently only £1.99 on Kindle.
The Queensferry Crossing, Scotland
We were fortunate to be allocated passes to walk over the Queensferry Crossing over the Firth of Forth near Edinburgh last Sunday. Catching the train from Kinghorn and alighting at Inverkeithing, we had a short walk to Ferry Toll, where we were security checked and bused to the bridge. The organisation was slick, cheerful and efficient and reminiscent of The Olympics (or The Commonwealth Games)
We were given only an hour to walk the 1.7 miles. This was perfect to include regular pauses to take photos and enjoy The Queensferry Crossing, the old Forth Road Bridge and The Forth Bridge, the iconic rail bridge admired by thousands over two centuries.
Here’s the rail bridge appearing Nessie – like through the gaps in the wind shielding glass; a photo which will never again be taken except from a moving vehicle.
At intervals information boards gave us fascinating facts and figures about the bridge and its construction and also historical background. On this one we were told that, whilst clearing the site, signs of the oldest dwellings in Scotland were discovered.
The views of the other bridges wowed us by their grace and symmetry.
The glimmers of sunlight through the clouds enhanced the beauty of The Queensferry Crossing itself. I couldn’t help but wonder, half way across, what Queen Margaret (or St Margaret (1045-1093) would have thought of it all, since she instigated the first ferry route for pilgrims over the Firth of Forth, which existed until the first road bridge was opened in 1964.
(Diana Jackson is the author of ‘The Healing Paths of Fife’ a fantasy memoir of her walk along the Fife Coastal Path)