My third novel, my ?work-in-progress,? does not yet have a name. There are several working titles, but nothing yet that feels quite right although hopefully, inspiration will strike before I finish ?
But it does have a very definite setting ? London. London features constantly in the novel as most of the characters live there although Brighton also features from time to time.
London as a setting, however, gives me every excuse to get on the train as often as I can to do further research.
And in spite of the fact that I was born in London, come from a long line of parents, grandparents and even great grandparents who were Londoners, lived, worked and bought my first two flats in the capital, I am still constantly surprised by new delightful discoveries.
Even in areas that I thought I knew well.
Suddenly, a narrow lane, a courtyard, a small chapel or church appears that I have never noticed before. A curious street name that demands research, an impressive fa?ade, a small museum never visited ?
This week, skirting Bloomsbury, Clerkenwell, Fleet Street, High Holborn, I stumbled across the chapel of Grays? Inn that I had no idea was open to the public. (no idea that it was even there, in fact.) I was the only visitor and sat in the silence for ten or fifteen minutes or so, city noise remote as if part of a different world. Lincoln?s Inn Fields and people were playing a match on the tennis court ? for a moment, the scene looked impossibly rural and relaxed to be only feet away from the constant bustle of the capital.
In my new novel, one of my characters works in a small museum in this area ? the museum is fictitious, but the setting is very real. Visiting these streets helps me to create a felt and authentic background, I hope, that people will either recognise or want to visit when they read the book.
In the meantime, back to the work-in-progress and chapter 14, where I have left my character, Catherine Wells, for far too long, contemplating an evening out with a man called Alec!