I’ve given up writing about it, but at long last (very long and finally at last) my next novel is in the wings waiting for the curtains to open and it to stride onto the public stage! Yes, Winterdyke is in its final stages of being edited and proof read by a couple of severe but kindly critics – husband and a friend! I daren’t confess how long it has taken, I now think I did have a touch of the writer’s block. I kept writing but words squeezed out like dried up toothpaste from an elderly tube. Somehow, earlier this year, things unblocked, and gradually I got back into my stride.
I have been worrying over the name Winterdyke as a couple of cheeky friends have made supposedly hilarious comments about it. However, Winterdyke Wash is an imagined part of the country, low lying, marshy and not far from the sea. It’s an area similar to some parts or Norfolk but isn’t based on anywhere in that lovely county, it’s completely fictional.
“Winterdyke is a big mere, now a popular area for recreation; in the past it had been a series of interconnected dykes, ditches and waterways which flooded each year and would freeze to become a popular area for skating.”
The events in the story take place in Athelmond Grange, a huge old place owned by the Robespierre family; the elderly patriarch wants Thomas Radwinter to research his family history and invites Thomas to stay while the Radwinter family are away visiting relatives. Right from the start Thomas is baffled because the research, although covering an enormous number of people, is actually really quite simple. However, it soon becomes clear that there is a hidden agenda and a particular reason why Thomas was asked to do the genealogical investigation.
I opened my laptop and looked at my notes on the somewhat mysterious undertaking. I’d been contacted by the PA of an extremely wealthy family who wanted me to do a complete genealogical survey. I wasn’t exactly regretting accepting, they were paying me way, way over what I’d normally expect, but I had a few doubts. To be honest it seemed a bit odd, and if I had a sixth sense it would be pricking right now – if that’s what sixth senses do. But doesn’t the sixth sense enable you to see dead people? I remembered the film, and then wished I hadn’t.
As if that wasn’t enough, two other members of the family separately approach him, asking him to take on different but equally extraordinary commissions. Meanwhile, there is someone else who does not want him to succeed, and he begins to wonder if in actual fact he is in danger. Who can he trust? Who are allies, who are potential enemies?
This will be the seventh book in my Radwinter series. The first was supposed to be a one off, but at the end of it there seemed another story to be told, so I wrote the next part of Thomas’s life and adventures… and somehow I am now on number VII, and I have a few chapters of number VIII, and some ideas for IX!!
Here is a link to the other Radwinter books, and I will keep you updated about the publication date – which I hope will be soon!!
My featured image is from the actual real village of Radwinter.