The Twisted Vine is going well. Rarely out of the top 100 for France since its launch in June and replete with high-scoring reviews. I am very happy about it. But not resting on my laurels! I\’m off to Spain for a week with my 90 yr old Dad on Tuesday. He used to live there for 25 years with my Mum, who died last year. She had dementia. It was tough. He wants to go back, get some sun and catch up with old friends. I\’m the escort. Coming with me is my trusty computer. I\’ve even bought a posh rucksack so I don\’t have to part with it at the airport. My plan is to hole up in the hotel room for a good chunk of every day and finish the edit of my next book, Daffodils.
Daffodils is set in the era around the first world war. I started writing it way before it was such a fashionable theme. Most of what we see and hear about that time concerns the few very rich people caught up in this global conflict. I was more interested in what happened to the lower classes. As I researched, I realised that the rigid social class structure crumbled under the chaos of that tragedy and would never be the same again. In fact the way we live today, the way we view the role of women, and men for that matter, money, work, raising children, all of these cultural mores were forged in the crucible of that terrible war.
Katy starts out a callow, shallow girl. Greedy for more, aspiring above station. She knows she\’s bright and she loves to read, but the adventures and heroines she reads about only whet her appetite for life. Her world is narrow and confined and try as she might to buck against it, it traps her. She tries to make the best of things and make a go of her marriage but personal tragedy and the war itself undermine her efforts. She succumbs to her baser self before going off to France to help in the armed fight. Then she finds her true strengths and discovers what really matters – love, of course.
So the fiesta might be setting off fireworks outside my hotel window in Spain but I shall hear them as cannon! I hope to complete this second novel by the time I get back. A whole week devoted to my dear old Dad and writing. What luxury!