The World of Bunch: part one

rat_bookWhilst writing Winter Downs and the world of my heroine, Rose ‘Bunch’ Courtney, there were many things that required some careful research. The first that came to mind was the knotty problem of rationing. Conducting a small straw poll the general perception of  many people seems to be that rationing came in with a bang the moment war was declared, and remained there until the end of the war, when it was lifted immediately. This was not the case.

Mindful of the privations suffered in the Great War, the Ministry of Food was set up to oversee supplies and there was an original plan to implement full rationing from September 1939. The MoF did announce rationing several times in those early months – only to postpone them due to some vociferous newspaper campaigns, spearheaded, by all accounts by a series of editorials in the Daily Express; which, for example, urged the public to “…revolt against the food rationing system.”   Continue reading

Echoes of Scott

Famous Horses in Fact and Fiction: Young Lochinvar‘Oh! What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive…’

That line has been running through my head all of this morning, and though Scott doubtless had specific thoughts of lust and betrayal at its heart when he first penned Marmion (which is, after all, essentially crime fiction), I’ve always thought it apt for writers in general; and increasingly so as I wade into the murky waters of historical crime fiction.

To my mind, the entire raison d’être of fiction writers is to deceive their audience. Deceive them into believing that which is being laid out before them is ‘true’, at least within itself.  Even the fantasy writer must construct a world that is true to itself within its own bubble, because if that writer does not know what is true or possible in that universe, they will never be able to persuade a reader that the people and places they have created just may exist, somewhere out there, in another time and place. Continue reading