Current project

21 Jan

Since the new year I have been making the early sketches, outline and key chapters of a new novel. Provisionally called “Hark, hark!”, it is set in 1381, just after the Peasant’s Revolt. in the Welsh Marches. History is my great enthusiasm, as is medieval and Renaissance literature.

This is a considerable departure for me from my other novels, “Most Secret”, “Down in the Flood” and “Eating the Owl”. The first two are about an Edwardian spy, the last is a contemporary thriller.

The new book has elements of horror, in a medieval rural noir mode. I have lifted a character from Langland’s Piers Plowman and scenes from Chaucer’s Reeve’s Tale and the anonymous poem Gawain and the Green Knight.

The plot is set out and I am writing the chapters in a non-linear fashion, using Y-Writer as a means of keeping track of characters and plot details.

There is religious tension of the time between the Lollards and the established Church, political tension between supporters of the young King Richard II and those who want power for themselves. There is also military tension between England and Wales.

The three “Beggars” are a hedge priest, an entertainer (jongleur), who is more than he seems and a seemingly high-born lady who is the most notorious woman in England. They turn up in a small town in the Welsh borders shortly after the revolt has been put down.

The next thing I need to do is to get some idea of a graphic for the cover that I can latch on to, to give me an idea of what the final product will be. Until then I will follow some advice about writing, Don’t try to get it right, just try to get it down.

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