As an author, mainly of historical fiction, I find that I come to love the characters who populate my tales. The journeys they take become my journeys, their trials and tribulations mine. It’s all to easy to immerse myself in the period, to find myself thinking in their dialect, using their phrases and mannerisms, living their nightmares, (for I do put them through the mill and spare them little angst), in fact, almost becoming the characters.
Last week, I wrote a cheque and dated it 1918. I keep doing it… I am, in fact, and have been for the last six months, living during the Great War. A couple of days ago, I laid down my virtual pen and finished ‘The Dandelion Clock’ – a tale of two lovers torn apart by the Great War, and I feel bereft at leaving them behind and emerging battered and bruised into the 21st century. Bill and Florrie have crept into my heart, and there they will stay along with Ella and Jem, from ‘On Different Shores’ and its sequels; Walt and Miriam, from ‘Touching the Wire; Kiya, Raphel, and Abe from ‘Where Hope Dares’; and Alana and Rhiannon from ‘The Silence of the Stones’.
I have journeyed with them to Wales; Auschwitz; Kettering, England; Van Diemen’s Land; Australia; Morocco; the Grand Sahara; Gallipolli, Egypt, and the Holy Land. I have been to the 1840s, the 1910s, the 1940s, the 1970s, the present day, and far into our future. Together we’ve explored Disassociative Identity Disorder, runes, Nazi death camps and Mengele’s medical experiments, the danger of prophecy, the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, global warming, the Oromo people, family history, convict transportation to Van Diemen’s Land, convict ships, gold prospecting, the workings of threshing machines, Merino sheep, the Blue Mountains of Australia, the English legal system of 1840, women’s rights (or rather the lack of them), the incompetence of generals during WW1, Gallipoli, Egypt, Palestine, Churchill, deserts, conditions in the trenches, bully beef and Maconochie stew. And I have loved every minute of it.
I now wait in fear and trembling as my five volunteer beta readers read, inwardly digest, and pass judgement on ‘The Dandelion Clock’, a project inspired by my much-loved grandparents and so close to my heart. It’s a bit like fearing someone will tell you your beautiful baby is gruesomely ugly!
So thank you, Bill and Florrie, for a great adventure. I shall never forget you.
The Dandelion Clock – coming in 2018.
More books by Rebecca Bryn
The Silence of the Stones Alana and Rhiannon in Wales – contemporary mystery
Touching the Wire Walt and Miriam in Auschwitz – historical fiction, historical romance
Where Hope Dares Kiya, Raphel, and Abe in the High Atlas Mountains – some time in our future.
On Different Shores Ella and Jem on convict ships to Van Diemen’s Land – historical fiction, historical romance (3 book series)