I’ve just posed my latest work to my website. It’s called It Happened on the High Seas and it represents a return on my part to a simpler style. My little heroines are teenagers again and the story is set this year on a cruise my family enjoyed through the Eastern Mediterranean.
It’s still a mystery but the girls solve this one without the oversight of Sherlock Holmes, Jane Marple or Albus Dumbledore. I really enjoyed writing it and loved reading it to the girls as we travelled together From Venice to Croatia and the Greek Islands. At thirteen and fifteen years old, Katie and Emily are becoming a little old for bedtime stories but they still love being at the centre of the action and call for the same stories again and again.
Part of the charm of the book is capturing their delight in the cruise experience. As you’ll find if you read the preface to the story, the various crises in Turkey forced a change of itinerary. There was supposed to be an organic link between the background story from Renaissance Venice and their present experience. Alas: the Turkish episodes in the novel have no ready equivalent in the cruise we shared. Maybe next time we’ll walk the elegant pavement of the Grand Bazaar and the hallowed floors of Hagia Sophia.
There’s a lot of fun to be had in the post-modern conversation the girls have about what to do in a crisis. The contemporary Emily and Katie in the story acknowledge that when they are facing a crisis it helps them to consider what the fictional Katie and Emily would do in those circumstances. “What would the Emily of Grandad’s stories do now?” It’s a very in-joke, perhaps, but a delicious aspect of the way the story is resolved.
I’m not sure where the muse will take me next. Inspiration will come when I least expect it – and take me in other directions.