Alicia de Lacy has convinced me that it is time to begin telling her story, even though I am still working on the text of my non fiction book about Yorkshire graves.
Beginning to write a new story is an interesting process, especially when it is a historical novel and you are basing it on real people and real facts. At the moment I feel more like I’m tackling a jigsaw puzzle than a book. I’ve written an opening paragraph and I’ve written a closing paragraph; I have a few random scenes that I know I want to include and gradually I’m beginning to piece together a framework for the story before going on to fill in the detail. Of course I’ve already added a few ‘wrong’ pieces and found that not only am I moving chunks around but that there are parts that don’t seem to fit and may be from another ‘puzzle’ entirely.
One of the problems with researching for a historical book is that of misinformation. You think you have a grasp on who was related to who and how many brothers and sisters they had and then you discover that it is entirely wrong. I’m learning who to trust, and who not to trust, on these matters and that helps me to make some progress. I do like my stories to be as accurate as possible. Even though 98% of a book may be pure fiction I want the remaining 2% that is based on actual facts to portray those facts correctly.
Like other historical characters there have been some vile and totally untrue things written about Alicia. One Victorian writer in particular has bismirched her character beyond reason so I hope that my book will help to set some records straight. No wonder she is so keen that we should begin.