Blog Tour Time. I've shared this author on my blog before and I am delighted to share another guest post from this author. Today MJLee tells us all about MAKING SENSE OF THE PAST.
July 1, 1916. The Somme, France. A British Officer prepares to go over the top on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
March 28, 2016. Manchester. England. Genealogical investigator Jayne Sinclair, a former police detective, is commissioned by a young teacher to look into the history of his family. The only clues are a medallion with purple, white and green ribbons, and an old drawing of a young woman.
Her quest leads to a secret buried in the trenches of World War One for over 100 years.
Who was the real heir to the Lappiter millions?
From the author of the best selling, The Irish Inheritance, comes a gripping new book revealing family secrets hidden in the fog of war. The Somme Legacy is the second book in the Jayne Sinclair genealogical mystery series, but it can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story.
Guest Post | MAKING SENSE OF THE PAST:
This is the first line of L P Hartley’s great novel, ‘The Go-Between’, made into a wonderful film by Joseph Losey in 1971.
It strikes me that, as writers of historical fiction, one of our jobs is to bring this ‘foreign country’ to life, and make the things they do ‘differently’ comprehensible to modern readers.
Personally, I write genealogical mysteries, featuring Jayne Sinclair. She’s an ex-police detective who, after her partner was shot and killed, found researching her family historya way of forgetting the trauma. She left the police force and now investigates family secrets and histories for her clients. Cases that no other genealogist wants to touch.
But how can a modern day genealogical investigator reveal the truth in the past?
And her latest case, how can she discover who is the heir to the Lappiter millions when all she has to help her are a medallion with a purple, green and white ribbon, and a drawing of a young woman?
In this novel, there is no crime to be solved, but there is a story to be uncovered, a truth to be found. Here, the skills of genealogical and historical research come in. Parish registers, lists of war dead, newspapers, meetings with relatives, hidden letters and diaries and old pictures, all can be brought to life to reveal the truth.
Like all historical writing, it’s a foreign country waiting to be discovered. And it’s different there.
The job for the writer is to make it comprehensible and believable, so that the reader immerses themselves in the period.
Whether it’s the wars of Anglo-Saxon England. A murder in Art- Deco Shanghai. The theft of a diary in Restoration England. Or finding the bloody horror of the Battle of the Somme.
It’s one of the beauties of writing historical novels. There are thousands of foreign countries to be discovered in the past. And even more family secrets.
Because all families have secrets, don’t they?
About The Author:
Martin has spent most of his adult life writing in one form or another. As a University researcher in history, he wrote pages of notes on reams of obscure topics. As a social worker with Vietnamese refugees, he wrote memoranda. And, as the creative director of an advertising agency, he has written print and press ads, tv commercials, short films and innumerable backs of cornflake packets and hotel websites.
He has spent 25 years of his life working outside the North of England. In London, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai, winning awards from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, New York and London Festivals, and the United Nations.
Whilst working in Shanghai, he loved walking through the old quarter of that amazing city, developing the idea behind a series of crime novels featuring Inspector Pyotr Danilov, set in 1920s and 30s.
When he's not writing, he splits his time between the UK and Asia, taking pleasure in playing with his daughter, practicing downhill ironing, single-handedly solving the problem of the French wine lake and wishing he were George Clooney.