The hardest thing for me to do as a writer is to say goodbye to the story. Once its written, once it has made its way from the brain, through the fingers, to the computer, and even though there is more work to come with edits, I find leaving the characters behind exceptionally hard.
I’ve lived with Gisborne and Ysabel for two years now. Through France and England, then through the Mediterranean to Cyprus. They have let me into the most private parts of their lives, voyeur that I am. I’ve watched those who deserved their just desserts receive them, medieval style – not a pretty thing. And I have watched as those I was in love with meet their Fate. It has been excruciatingly sad.
This last week, I have woken, dressed and done the chores, ready to start writing but there is nothing to write. I am in stasis, waiting for edits and corrections to return from the editor, along with suggestions from the beta-readers.
It’s not that there isn’t another story winding in and out of my grey matter. There is – but it’s a mere thread at this point. I feel like a child chasing a tail of ribbon. I almost have it and then off it goes again, but only far enough away to tantalise, to tease. Still within the twelfth-thirteenth centuries because I am vested there now, but who and how? That’s the question.
Everyone knows Richard Armitage was always an inspiration for Guy in my books.
But the new characters are something else. Richard Lionheart will appear again and I must say I rather fancy Bradley James’ face, manner and physique. My Richard is handsome (as history tells us), is arrogant (as history also reveals) and my Richard can be quite relaxed and amusing.
Ysabel? Will she be in the novel? Yes, but she will have grown and matured and there is a deep seam of grief within her. I always imagined she was rather like Sophie Myles in appearance and Sophie’s many moods fit Ysabel well.
There are others of course. William of Gisborne.
Gwen. Bridget. Peter. Mehmet. Tobias and Tommaso Celho. And there will be someone dark and twisted whose face evades me currently. Perhaps it is he that pulls the ribbon from my grasp.
At the moment, it laces back through the Adriatic and up into the edges of Germany. But I can’t trust it yet. It reduces me to a tangle and I need to read and research more.
In the meantime, I try not to miss the characters, my friends, too much. Or to miss the spiritual nature of writing a story.
They say walking’s good therapy!