The Novel Approach to Research ~ Do you know what car this is?

What inspires you to write a novel?

All it took for me was an email and a photo and I was hooked.

Haynes Park Army Camp 1915

Haynes Park Army Camp 1915

Here’s the photo:

And here’s the gist of the email:

‘Did you know that a young Jersey girl was murdered at Haynes Park, near to where you live, back in 1919? The murder was never solved.’

The inspiration to write my first murder mysteryMurder, Now and Then’ was born!

Inspired to delve deeper I discovered this photo at the Bedford archives. The young ladies quickly became my characters, as did the owner and driver of the car – but what was the car?

I needed a car which looked like the above and was manufactured before World War One. Searching on the internet and asking several people for their opinion we decided to call it an ‘Austin 7hp.’ 

Imagine my surprise and delight to receive a comment on Facebook yesterday morning from a friend @PaulFellows who informed me that the car was really a Morris Oxford or Morris Cowley.

Many apologies for car lovers for this error in my novel. Not that you would know of course since there are no pictures in ‘Murder, Now and Then’ Morris;-)


Filed under Murder Now and Then, Research

6 responses to “The Novel Approach to Research ~ Do you know what car this is?

  1. What a great way to be inspired to write a whole book!! I struggle to write a short blog post from just one photo, however intriguing it is!! LOL 🙂

    • It is odd to think of the actual spark which leads to a novel. Do you look at the view and appreciate it for what it is or does your mind delve deeper? The salt pans for example along the Fife coast – can you imagine the people working there, or even more strange, the tall ships sailing into the tiny harbour at Dysart for example… The mind is a wonderful thing 🙂

  2. Karen Dahood

    Too true. Documenting details can certainly get in the way. I waited so long to finish a book set partly in a botanical garden that the garden had changed dramatically. Karen

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Hi Karen I find the research fascinating for its own sake and much of it never comes to print as part of my novel but gives me a richer understanding. Lovely that you should pop by Karen. I wrote a review for your Sophie and Sam mystery on Goodreads yesterday and it will be my feature of the month on this blog published on Thursday!

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