I was bemoaning my lost weekend on another of my blogs* when I suddenly found I had ‘lost’ a whole month on this one! I’m not sure what happened in July to make it go so fast. We were preparing for an Edinburgh Fringe show, and my full-time job was very busy, and I wrote about half of the next in my ‘Quest’ series. Hmm. I suppose that was enough to fill up the month.
Anyway, I am cautiously optimistic about ‘The Four Seasons Quest’. I’ve been writing slightly more slowly than usual and I think it may turn out a little longer than most of my mysteries, although that is still to be confirmed. Unlike ‘The Lion and Unicorn Quest’, which happened mostly in London, the setting varies a lot, and I’ve already sent my characters almost the entire length and breadth of mainland Britain, usually by rail. Their arrival in different places is often announced by telegram, but sometimes there isn’t time to announce it at all. It’s actually quite difficult to imagine a world without the modern methods of communication we now take for granted, but in many ways it improves the plot as it isn’t quite so easy to warn people of terrible danger, or to stop them from making an awful mistake, as it would be nowadays. And certainly people at that time couldn’t share vital information about what they had for breakfast with all their friends and acquaintances, which was probably a good thing.
My aim with ‘The Four Seasons Quest’ is to take the story right through four seasons, starting with ‘Winter’ and finishing with ‘Autumn’. In some ways, as I get more and more interested in the 1950s themselves, it is tempting to get lost in the background and forget there is something more exciting (I hope!) going on, so I am having to fight against that tendency all the time as well as against my usual foes, sloth and procrastination!