Just got confirmation that my contract’s okay and it’s all right to write about the process here in this blog!
A big Thank You to NAC‘s Arts Creation Fund for being my life support system for the next fifteen months while I’m writing this next book!!
And suddenly I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing… but that should be reassuringly familiar since most of the time that’s how I feel when I start on a new project. So–
I’ve got my lead character, Miss Sophia Blackmore (there will be some who recognise the name… those of you who do and who may be able to point me towards more documents/ photos/ info/ facts please, please let me know!) the American lady who set up a mission school for girls in Singapore.
My book will be exploring a little known side of her and some of her students–how the skills, discipline and spirit of service she embodied and tried to instill in them made it possible for them to solve heinous murders in 1920’s Singapore.
No disrespect intended–this is fiction built around a historical character whose presence in Singapore left a legacy still present today. After all First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt has been depicted solving murders in the White House. I enjoyed those books and loved the idea behind them.
I think what I liked most was knowing that while the murders were pure fiction (at least I hope so!) the social and historical information was accurate enough to give me an idea of what it was like not just in the White House but in America in that era.
I’m tentatively setting my book in Singapore in 1926. This was an exciting time in the world and in Singapore–jazz age, flappers, the bit of breathing space between two world wars, rubber was the big industry and palm oil was a big deal too… I’ve already been reading up on the time and looking up old photographs to see what houses looked like, what people wore, what they ate, cooked with (and what they might have used to murder each other with)
Yes, I’m looking forward to writing this book.