Wednesday 8 April 2015

Following the King

I'm an historian, so I found all the recent ceremony around the re-burial of Richard III fascinating, even though he is not in the period I specialise in. From the reports of the crowds in Leicester, I'm not alone.

I've always been interested in the myth and reality of the story, ever since reading Josephine Tey's Daughter of Time when I was still in school. Tey uses the device of a police style investigation to look at the events of Richard's life and the crimes he was accused of. Of course the most famous portrayal of the King is Shakespeare's. He paints a monster, but there are all sorts of reasons not to take his picture as completely accurate, not least the attraction for a writer of creating a seriously good (i.e. bad) villain. And we all know about that. Catnip. 

If you visit York there are many places associated with the King. And now Leicester. A visit there will be going on the bucket list. 

What has this got to do with writing romantic suspense? Well, my current heroine in the WMVSP Work Making Very Slow Progress (This last week, none at all, for various domestic reasons) is back in the UK, where she was born, after living abroad for fifteen years. She's re-acquainting herself with the country she grew up in, but avoiding places she knows well. She has her reasons, as you'll understand if I ever finish the thing. I decided she would visit York, as it is a beautiful city and the kind of place that would attract someone playing tourist in their own country. And then the re-burial of the King hit the news and I had a light-bulb moment.  How about if she visits other sites associated with Richard? Which is perfect as it keeps her out of the way of the hero, Ethan, while he does Something Very Important For The Plot. 

So - Tess is making a pilgrimage to the Ricardian sites. And I get the fun of choosing where she will go and researching it. And meanwhile, in another part of the country, Ethan is finding out something very disturbing ...

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