I’m going through a sticky patch, not so much ‘writer’s block’ but more 'where the hell am I going with this?' This being the final book in a trilogy.
The first two novels, ‘The Gift’ and ‘Bloodline,’ are strong; books I’m happy to send out, perhaps the best I’ve written so far. I dip my quill in hubris and look around nervously.
On the other hand, this final book, putatively titled 'Blood-fall', is teetering on 'Still-born.' At present a nightmare. What do I have?
It is set between 1932 and 1941.
It has a prime motivating force.
I know the fate of one of the major characters, and more importantly why.
Other than that, for the moment at least, I can’t see the wood for the trees. There are so many rich and fascinating trees:
Brendan Bracken, Churchill’s intimate advisor who had occult leanings and associated with the black magician Evan Morgan in his younger days, The Princess Stephanie Hohenlohe, the beautiful and manipulative master spy who had Lord Rothmere and Adolf Hitler wrapped round her perfumed fingers, despite being half Jewish. Guy Burgess and Edouard Pffieffer, the aide to Daladier, the French Minister of War. Burgess, a communist spy, and Pfeiffer were predatory homosexuals who once played ping-pong over the supine body of a Parisian rent boy – but more to the point a weak link in the highly secretive correspondence between Neville Chamberlain and Daladier during the Munich crisis. I have Ribbentrop and the deeply troubling Lord Halifax who once expressed a wish for a State Procession in honour of Hitler, the British monarch by his side in London. And had it been Edward VIII this would likely have come to pass.
All this you cannot make up – but so many rich and variegated trees for my fictitious characters, John Grey, Elizabeth and Elsie McBride to weave their way through in something approaching a compelling plot. I'm looking for that trail of crumbs in the dark wood; no worse. I'm feeling my way through a maze in a thick mist, and wearing a blindfold. Wish me luck