Lucy’s Admiral

To coincide with the publication of the 1949 Affair, The History they Tried To Suppress has asked me to reblog an entry from Mark Birch’s blog – Modern Day Pepys – in the hopes that if it’s here, it will be visible to all. (It doesn’t show up on his blog – unless you access it from their offices apparently). So here goes…

From Mark Birch: Modern Day Pepys

Thoughts on Lucy’s Admiral…

Don’t get me wrong, Lucy’s my mate. We’ve known each other since the first day of primary school and I’ve really despaired at the way all the so called popular kids have picked on her over the years. They call her geeky. In my book that’s jealous for clever so and so who gets good marks and does her homework. Well what’s wrong with that? Luce was always confident that the only way you got off Canvey and stayed off was by getting good grades, going to college and all that stuff. That of course was before that day trip to Southend Pier!

Now we’re off Canvey for good! And although I ain’t said nuffin’ to Luce, I’m pretty sure we aren’t ever going to get back to our world. Well in our reality: Lloyd George died in a carriage accident in 1909. In the world we’ve ended up in, he became the Great War Prime  Minister and key force at Versailles in 1919. So I’m pretty much guessing that even if we could get back to Southend and 2013 – it sure ain’t going to be the one we left. No surree bob as my grannie used to say! Still I’m not sure that’s a bad thing!

This time travel lark’s altered us too. There’s me – hob nobbing with politicians, and spies and the likes – getting beaten up like I’m some kind of young James Bond or that Biggles bloke and you’ve got to admit, even with the black eyes – being a real life adventurer’s got to beat being 18 and doing a college course. And then  there’s her – gone from geeky to gorgeous faster than you can say – Aldwych Strand.

I know what you’re going to say: I’m jealous. No I’m not. Nor do I fancy her. Luce is my mate.

But I’d be lying if I said I liked  all this attention she’s getting: and from all these “players”.  Lloyd George, Marconi, Walter Nicolai. Least they was respecting her. This admiral? This Valentin bloke? He’s like an octopus. Or at least he would be if he touched her. And he don’t; which if you asks me is weird. Oh it’s not he don’t touch her: he don’t touch anyone! Not without his gloves on.  But  what I don’t like is the way his eyes follow her around a room. And he stands just close enough to let the whole world know she’s his. Of course she’s too naive to see what he’s up to. She’s says he’s just being kind and an … avuncular.

Oh Luce get a grip!

This bloke sure ain’t no Hercule Poirot.

He’s hiding something and it’s going to all end in tears one of these days – you mark my words.

Why do I say that? Simple.  There’s more to this admiral of hers than meets the eye. Apart from being a murdering, lying scumbag nazi? O heck yes. She can’t see it though. I can. I’ve seen his handy work at first hand. I’ve seen him kill.

But what I really don’t like it the way this guy  knows too much – about her, me; our world (the one we’ve come from, I mean). He knows about things a bloke from the early twentieth century shouldn’t. And every time you asks him to do something – to help out; he says it’s more than his job’s worth. There’s also the way he commands a room. Now I’ve watched Hitler on those film clips, and I’ve seen how he can hold a crowd in the palm of his hand. But this Valentin bloke. He really knows what power is. Like he’s ruled the world or something.

Still no doubt it’ll all sort itself out. When we leave 1949 and head off for our next adventure. He’ll just be a memory, and time will have returned to normal. Because if it doesn’t…

 

 

The 1949 Affair – Ask me a question

Hi guys: Lucy and Mark’s 1949 affair 1 paper back  versionnext adventure is out next week. If you have any questions about their previous adventure – The End of the Pier Affair – or their latest travels in the 1949 Affair: post them below and I’ll do my best to answer them…

If you don’t fancy posting here and are a member of goodreads, you can post your question there 🙂

 

Look forward to hearing from you

The Lonliness Of The Long Distance Traveller

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

1. Llandudno

2. His age

3. His godfather

all of the above…

or something else entirely?

Secret of Aldwych Strand – End of the Pier Affair 2nd ed. NOW OUT

secret of aldwych strand 1 HI guys,

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”

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00E7E8QS8

The 6 Rules of Time Travel

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

An Avuncular

Can an Avuncular exist in the 21st Century? And can a 21st century girl trust one in 1949?

More than a Cat

My mind today has been exercised by the concept of an “Avuncular”. Good word isn’t it? Very underused I feel. So I set about redressing this…

Svengali_in_spider_web._Illustration_by_Georges_DuMaurier_1895One of my characters  is being an “avuncular”, and – while I’d like to think he is operating from the purest of motives – at the back of my mind lurks the possibility he’s more of a Svengali like figure; though he is certainly no incubus,  and I’m sure he’s not manipulating my heroine. There are others in the story far better placed to do that. Besides, he’s too good looking to be the original manifestation of George Du Maurier’s character from Trilby.

So, for the moment, I will put aside this nagging doubt and return to my original musings.

An Avuncular is such a Victorian concept. It relates to the “uncle like” relationship between an older  and younger – less experienced – person. …

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End of the Pier – Thoughts after Day 1 of the Kindle Promo

It’s been a  busy weekend… scrub that: it is a busy weekend.

I’ve put the first book up free on a promo weekend, to boost the books profile and it’s working.  I was sceptical but I thought: “hell what have I got to lose?” Nothing.

So far, it’s going well.   People are giving the tale ago. They are are coming back positively. Telling me what I know ( that it needs a bit of a polished edit). Heck there’s only so far a girl can go on her own; telling me they’re enjoying it none the less.

Time of course will tell, but the promos doing what I want. It’s getting the book out there. It’s drumming up enough interest to get an offer of help with the editing, from someone whose writing I’ve admired for a long time. People are also starting to ask if there’s a 2nd one.

I may not be JK Rowling. I may not even be Sarah E Smith yet. But I’m now able to say : I’m an author (I think! 😉 )

Want a copy? Then click the link below.

The Secret of Aldwych Strand – End of the Pier Affair

Now in Paperback

book cover6

 

Mark Birch here,

the ‘ero of the piece. Putting my side of the events out here

It was like this, Luce wanted some pictures – right? But well, she’s the class geek and can’t be trusted out there on her own. So. me being the football captain – well it fell to me to keep an eye on her.

Well how was I to know that there’s a Time Distortion at the End of Southend Pier. Well it’s not the kind of thing they tell you in history is it? That would be too interesting.

Anyways – to cut a long story short; we aren’t in Southend anymore. We’re in London – 1909 to be precise, and some daft bugger’s trying to kill Lloyd George and his mate Churchill. And me and Luce are right in the thick of it.

Bouncing around Time we have to stop the world as we know it,  being completely destroyed!

But it’s not as easy as it sounds, because there’s this Italian inventor geezer – who’s not only in charge of the Secret Underground Facility under Aldwych Station on the Strand -but also has the hots for my best friend…

Now available to purchase on Kindle and in paperback from Amazon