People write in different ways, I don’t just mean handwriting, but writing novels and stories, other books, poetry… I am sometimes asked about writing my novels, an whether I plan them, and whether I make notes… well actually no… my mind just doesn’t seem to work like that. I know other people have wall-charts and files, and post-its, and all sorts of things. I just get on and write although I do often use a calendar or diary to keep track of the time scale, and to make sure I don’t have it snowing in July or that Easter comes before Christmas. I do often make family trees for my characters, with birth dates and when they got married and who their children are… but this is mostly just jotting in an old exercise book or note pad.
When I came to write Radwinter however, because it was concerned with genealogy, I did have to make a lot more effort, and I had huge pieces of paper with the different trees of the different people, I had a folder of different census records, print-offs of articles I had found useful or interesting, and lists of information about workhouses, brick factories and Polish war memorials. However, what the characters did and how their lives progressed and the different events which happened to them, that all stayed in my head.
I am now embarking on Magick, the sequel to Radwinter; I have written about 60,000 words and got to a stage now where I need to construct some family trees, and collate my ‘evidence’ from census returns, birth and marriage and death records, and collateral information about Victorian England. I have my big pieces of paper, I have my felt tip pens, and I have a drawing board on my knee! Ready to record!