This week I have taken the first steps on a new book. This is scary, exciting, satisfying. At present there are some words on paper and a lot of assembling ducks in rows. Bit like jigsaw puzzles. I'm not particularly good at those, but I do like to puzzle out a new plot. Besides that, and a cast list and a genealogy - it's going to be one of those books again that have family history going back to the war, so I need to get births and deaths and age at key dates sorted out - there is the business of names.
Names operate in mysterious ways. Sometimes the characters arrive with them already in place. Sometimes they have a name, but it doesn't feel right and the book doesn't jell until they get a new one. Sometimes naming a character means resorting to baby name books and lists on the internet.
The characters in this book seem to have been rather shy over divulging names. A few have to be Welsh, so that involved the list option, but I have them now. Naming the hero seemed to be especially difficult this time. As I said, I have done a bit of writing and it was time for him to make his entrance - except he couldn't do that until he had a name! I've been mentally throwing options around - he almost seemed as if he was going to be Rafe, but that didn't quite fit. Yesterday morning though, he settled - his name is Nathan. I think now that is right.
So - Eleri and Nathan are ready for their journey. It's a complicated one - when are they not, when I get my hands on them - three interlocking mysteries. Hope I can cope with that. I also have an ancient solicitor for whom I have unexpectedly fallen rather hard who seems to have set himself up as a kind of narrator, plus a story line that goes back to the War and the 1950s. The quotation that opens Romeo and Juliet keeps running through my mind,
Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
The book isn't set in Verona - although I think Lake Como may be making a guest appearance, but it does have two families and star crossed lovers.
At the moment I'm figuring out the connection between my hero and a local serial killer - as you do. It will putter along for a bit, as the edits for Masquerade on the Riviera will be back soon, but at the moment I am having fun.