It’s been a busy time these last six weeks, unfortunately a lot of which focused on the death of my father aged 82.
One thing I have managed to do though is visit Estonia in its beautiful summer glory. It gave me an opportunity to soak up the atmosphere and think about aspects of the story. I also had a great opportunity to visit places I know and some I don’t, all of which contribute to my impending novel ‘Forest Brothers’.
Before I left, my prospective editor suggested I should go to the land ‘and see what messages it holds for you’. It was great advice! I have made lots of notes about tweaks to the manuscript. They range from spellings, to emotional reactions to situations and even correcting some inaccuracies after seeing places for the first time or in a new light.
All novels should have a good feel for their location. Little observations can add colour to the scene, but you also have to be careful. What is there today may not have been there before. The land could have changed, the culture also. Historical novels are in effect retrospective pieces written with 21st century eyes. You have to really try and pull yourself away from the here and now to get a feeling for the then.
I tried to visit everything I possibly could. Where this is not possible, I am reliant on history books and old pictures. The publisher’s comment was so right, though. The land does speak to you.
We hope to release the e-book by end November and a paperback by end April 2013. Before that, there are the many correspondences over tweaking and suggestions for enhancing the journey that my characters undertake.