I've been very slack at blogging lately, largely because Book Four, Murder on the Delhi Express, is rollicking along at such a cracking pace. It's fun when this happens, when the characters seem to know what they are up to and just get on with it.
Researching the British Raj of 1906 took so long it felt sometimes as if I'd never get the actual story started. It was an amazing time in an amazing place and some of the stories I uncovered actually led the plot in new directions- they were too wonderful to ignore. But then reference books were put away and the fun of weaving fiction around the strands of reality began.
At this stage, I deliberately do NOT check every single fact- I will check the accuracy of my memory at the editing stage. This is vital, otherwise I'll lose myself in an endless maze of knowledge, particularly when researching on the net; the world wide web is well named. Facts are such delicious morsels and having collected them I always want to share them in the text like nibbles, but if they're not relevant to the story or the characters I know I musn't. Not only does an overload of facts irritate the hell out of most readers, it slows the story down. Kate Atkinson pointed this out at the end of Life After Life and I've never forgotten her advice.
Anyway, I should get back to it. I've left Brooks and Lady Rosemary in possession of a new, very important clue. You know what those two are like, they'll be raring at the bit to go and discover more about that Murder on the Dehli Express...
NJ Bayley is author of: