I think I can say at last, after a much longer struggle than anticipated, that my next book – and yes after all dithering over the title, it’s called ‘Saltpans’ – my next book is in the final stages of getting ready to be published!!It’s self-published so it is all down to me… and my trusty reader, i.e. my husband.
The story, the latest in the Thomas Radwinter series, continues to chronicle Thomas’s life and has various adventures for him and his family, as well as several plot lines of the commissions he has undertaken. The two things interweave – as they do in real lives, but this one is slightly different in that one strand does not reach a complete conclusion – which may come in a later novel.
My name is Thomas Marcus Pemberton Radwinter; I was born in 1980, so I’m nearly thirty-eight. I’m about five foot nine and I have grey-hazel eyes and dark reddish sort of hair and a beard.
I live in Easthope which is a small old-fashioned seaside town, with my wife Kylie who’s half-Tobagan, and our five children, Terri-Ann who we adopted last year and is eight, Kenneil, six, Casimira, three, and our nearly two-year old twins, Vitalija and Marko. Kylie works full-time and I used to say I’m a stay-at-home dad, but so many things have changed in our lives. I still do lots of stuff at home, and most of the cooking, but I also now have a small office in Easthope. I’m a solicitor and I work independently, doing conveyancing and will-writing and stuff like that, but I also do genealogical research for other people.
Thomas sets out to investigate his wife’s family history – he can only follow the story of her English mother and forebears, he doesn’t yet have the wherewithal l to explore her Tobagan roots. He undertakes a commission from a police inspector he has come up against a couple of times…
Inspector Graham’s file was about a girl known as Shelly and included documents from the police, which I’m sure he wasn’t meant to have. What a great deal of trust he’s placing in me.
When he mentioned Shelly Beach, she was a person not the place where our kids play by the sea; for a moment I’d thought how unfair of her parents, Mr. and Mrs Beach to call her that, but as I began to unpick the files, all became clear.
There were newspaper cuttings, seemingly every item in the local press, the Strand Argos and the Castair Courier, plus sheaves of printouts from national newspapers.
You see, a local woman who’d been out early walking her dog, had found this young woman lying washed ashore on the beach at Strand. She was unconscious, but when an ambulance came and she was whisked off to hospital, thankfully she was found to be unhurt, although suffering slightly from cold.
There was a Sunday paper magazine article about her, told in a very dramatic way, mentioning other people who’d been found with lost memories. Yes, you see, this girl had completely lost her memory. She didn’t know who she was, where she’d come from, or even her name… hence Shelly.
Thomas’s brother discovers he has been written about in a blog, and he’s worried in case he should be worried… Then a friend of his reveals that he has a stalker, and he really is worried by it… a case for Thomas!
There are other things in the story which weave in and out because my Radwinter novels are not just about Thomas’s investigation, they are about him and his family, and how he has changed and matured (yes, at the age of nearly thirty-eight, he thinks he is just about growing up!)
One very different thing in this novel is that characters I’ve written about before in a completely different novel, ‘night vision’, appear in this one – five years after they went through their own traumas in their story. I hope if you have read it you will find their development believable!
In the previous novels, I hope I have managed to show how his personality develops and how having a loving and supportive and very independent wife, and a wonderful family of his own as well as his brothers, has metamorphosed him from a shy child to a confident man – his wife describes him as bumptious, and indeed, he sometimes is!
In the novel before this, ‘Earthquake’, Thomas was under a lot of pressure, all the responsibility he now had weighed heavily and he had to deal with a very dangerous couple of people. He didn’t sleep or eat enough, he worked too hard – and now he has realised he has to look after himself in order to look after his family. He describes himself as Mr Boring now – although he isn’t, obviously! But this means this book has a very different tone, a very different feel. I hope it shows the realistic development of a person whose life has not been easy, but now, at last, is beginning to trust that it’s on an even keel and he can relax and enjoy it.
I can’t say exactly when Saltpans will be available – as a paperback and as an e-reader, but I really hope that within the next couple of weeks you will be holding a copy in your hands!!
All excerpts © Lois Elsden 2018
Here is a link to the other Radwinter books:
… and if you haven’t read ‘night vision’:
… and to my other books: