Lucy and Mark have been in the thick of it recently, and my attempts to make sense of their situation has kept me busy.
There have been writes and rewrites, as I have attempted to bring Lucy and Mark back together despite Hitler’s precise orders to the contrary. The pairs’ journey from Blenheim to London has changed repeatedly – helicopter, plane and car. With Mengele; without him.
I’ve had Valentin Von Schmidt go after them to be shot and killed by Mengele; to arrive just in time to see the two of them vanish into the distortion. To arrive in the nick of time and then be killed by Mengele
None of it was working.
Was this writer’s block?
Well you know me: I googled. Originally, writer’s block was defined as an inability to produce new work. Well that’s not the problem, excerpts of the third book are bouncing around in my head.
I googled Scott Fitzgerald – one of the world’s most famous sufferers from writers’ block. And that wasn’t it. You see I’m under no illusions. My tales of Lucy and Mark are no Great Gatsby. I’m not unable to write because I think this work is inferior to what has gone before. So why? Was I making it too complex? Or not simple enough?
In the course of my reading, I discovered stress and other work related worries can cause block. But these guys came out of my head in response to the stresses of the so called real world. Those stresses haven’t changed. Dead end.
Eventually I decided that maybe my block was the consequence of not listening to what my characters were telling me about one person in particular… Valentin Von Schmidt
You see, I’d got it in my head that Von Schmidt was fundamentally a good guy. That he would be redeemed by a gallant act of bravery. But he’s not a fundamentally good guy.
But Von Schmidt is different. He’s a white blond, blue eyed Austrian in his late 40′s. His father was a diplomat at the court of Kaiser Wilhelm; his godfather was Bismarck. Before the war he was a doctor, in the Austrian Navy and rose rapidly through the ranks. By 1949 he’s a vice admiral. Frances Stephenson tells Lucy that he was with them in Llandudno in 1914. And suddenly the historians’ amongst you will see my problem. Bismarck died in 1898.
Now all I have to do is work out what is he lying about
2. His age
3. His godfather
all of the above…
or something else entirely?
One of the best reads I’ve had in a while. The characters move back and forth in time uncovering surprising twists and turns in our history. The characters are interesting and lively, the story takes you on a journey and urges you to read on until the end. Overall, ‘The End of the Pier Affair’ is a must read for teenagers and adults alike.
As an historian, I usually don't have a lot of time for geography. It's professional pride. We're at opposite ends of the humanities - and like daleks and cybermen, historians and geographers are fundamentally different. One is a noble exponent of detection, the other a mere scientist.
but for Phyllis Pearsall, I am prepared to make an exception. Because like our…
Just to let you know that the changes you requested re: narrator idents and prologue have been made.
There is also a sneak peek into Lucy and Mark’s second adventure…
The 2nd edition is now available on Amazon to download and purchase in hard copy.
Download the free sample to see the changes that have been made – as they’re not yet showing up in the “look inside section”
it’s getting really exciting here. The freebie promotion weekend back in August, shifted a decent amount of books and brought some interesting feedback, for which I thank you.
It also brought an Angel onto the scene… someone prepared to stump up the money for a professional edit. Yes, I know there’s no such thing as a free lunch but the deal we worked out was acceptable to both; and I’m now on tender-hooks as I wait for the edit to pop into my in box. I’m interested to see what a 4th pair of eyes has done to this dyslexics work.
I shall, as always, keep you posted…
Google’s a wonderful thing. It is, honest.
Like last week, when my mind was full of Avunculars, this week it was really helpful when I’m planning the conversation between Walter Nicolai, Valentin and Mengele ( eeuk). The focus of my study? Are any rules that people living in the 1940s would know from cinema and literature.
So to begin at the beginning.
The first time travel book was written in 1773 by Samuel Madden: Memoires of the 20th Century; then there’s a gap of about 100 years and (to coin a phrase) it all goes mental. From Dicken’s Christmas Carol 1843 there are the obvious candidates HG Wells: Chronic Argonauts (1888) and Time Machine (1895), Mark Twain: Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889); TS Elliot: Burnt Norton (1936); Alison Uttley: A Traveller in Time (1939) and (stopping in 1946) Moore and Kuttner’s: Vintage Season. Intertwined with these are the intriguing Max Beerbhom’s “Enoch Soames” (1919), Edward Page Mitchell’s “The Clock That Went Backwards” (1881) and the 1887 El Anacronopete by Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau – which was the first novel ever to use a Time Machine (yeah that surprised me too.)
Once the books had been established, I hunted down the rules…
1. There seems to be a ghost or Devil like involvement/or someone makes a pact with the Devil
2. There’s a device of some description – a clock, or a machine of some kind
3. you can travel backwards or forwards
4. History can be corrupted/altered and Paradoxes created.
5. Gender is not a barrier to Time Travel
6. Travellers in time are individuals
Strangely and bizarrely the first time travel film is: “Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court” starring Bing Crosby and that’s not made until 1949.
But what about A Matter of Life and Death? Yes, it’s earlier (1946) but it’s not Time Travel; it’s travel between realities. Sorry guys.
Now let’s come back to the last point… If you’ve been following things carefully, you will know that Lucy and Mark may (and do) get separated but they travel together -even when Mark’s in the ersatz 2013, he was with Lucy in the Underground when it happened.
Now this has given food for thought: Mengele for all his horrific-ness was an educated man. His PHD was real; he was theatrical; so I’m going to take a leap of imagination. I’m going to assume that he has read some (if not all) of these books. I am going to assume that he will be fixated about point 6. In fiction Time travellers are alone. In his reality Lucy and Mark travel together. Therefore Lucy on her own cannot be a Traveller. He might be suspicious, but if the other two who are involved in that conversation consistently reiterate that Lucy and Mark have to be together, the evidence of his eyes has to be correct. Doesn’t it?
If you want to find out more about Lucy and Marks first story, follow the link. If you don’t? No worries