My debut novel, Starting Over, was published on 1 October 2014. So it seemed auspicious that my 12th novel was released on 1 October 2022. It’s also fitting that Changing Times begins in October…the start of the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” (as observed by John Keats in his poem, To Autumn).
Changing Times is set in London 2023 and has a cast of characters ranging in age from 20s to 70s. It is something of a family saga, with the older folks from Changing Perspectives interacting with the younger generation. The focus is mainly on the lives and loves of Holly and Luc Barker.
Back in 1993, Holly and Luc were very young, aged four and six. And several of the other young people who come into the story weren’t yet born. That’s why I think of the book as a family saga. The older generation are dealing with the changes taking place in their bodies and minds as they age. And the younger ones are now in the front line of a rapidly changing world.
But the one thing that doesn’t change, regardless of age, is the quest for romance and the recognition that long-term loving relationships are possible. I hope readers will enjoy this story as the family dramas play out with dysfunctional families and families of choice.
During lock-down months of inactivity over the last few years, you would think I had loads of time to write. Instead, I felt a kind of inertia. Trying to write new books took longer than usual. I could have spent the time planning, if writing wasn’t happening. But that didn’t manifest itself in any way.
Book number twelve finally started to take shape in my mind, albeit slowly. It has its roots in the one I started writing over thirty years ago. Changing Perspectives was eventually finished and published in 2017. I was happy with the end of the story. It seemed a good place to leave my characters. A sequel wasn’t even a consideration back then. With all my books, though, I’ve never actually written ‘The End.’ My thinking on this is that unless they do a Hamlet where everyone dies, the characters carry on with their lives.
Towards the end of last year, it occurred to me that a lot will have happened to those characters whose story was set in 1993. There were children, some not yet born, who would now be adults. What kind of lives did they lead? What would they be doing now? As for the older generation…now in their late sixties, early seventies…how did they fare?
So, from these seeds, a story idea began to grow. The result is Changing Times.
Thirty years on from when we first met Dani Barker and Camila Callaghan in Changing Perspectives, they’re enjoying marriage and semi-retirement in a luxury flat near London.
Dani’s niece, Holly, runs their mixed media business, now gaining a foothold in the highly competitive online games market. Holly’s older sibling, Luc, influences people to take action on climate issues with their website, Gaia One: One Earth, One Chance.
Romance has been in short supply for both Holly and Luc. Immersed in her work, Holly’s dating life is non-existent. For Luc, family prejudices stand in the way of a relationship with the love of their life.
Can Holly and Luc succeed in making the changes necessary to achieve their own happy ever afters?
I certainly enjoyed revisiting the older characters who are, after all, closer to my age. It was also fascinating to discover how the younger generation developed through the intervening years. Although Changing Times is a sequel, I think readers will be able to appreciate the story without having read Changing Perspectives.
I was going to do an end of year blog. But, here it is – the fifth of January already. What was there to say about 2021? It was very similar to 2020. The main difference was getting vaccinated: three jabs for Covid 19 and a flu jab. Although this did have the effect of making us feel a bit safer about going out, we stuck to travel within England and didn’t go anywhere without masks and hand sanitiser.
2020 was such a strange year that I found writing difficult, so I wasn’t expecting to be able to release a new novel in 2021. However, an idea did start to percolate in my benumbed brain after Christmas last year and the result was Darcy Comes Home. (Check out this lovely book review)
My publisher also released Three Mile Cache, a novella I’ve had sitting in a drawer for almost thirty years. They also decided to release each of the stories from the limited edition Affinity 10th Anniversary Christmas Anthology separately. My contribution was Winterbourne Revisited.
So, with very little to say at the moment, here are a few photos from our travels last year.
My publisher also gave their website a facelift. Please check it out – all their books are competitively priced – and there are some freebies on offer too.
Here’s hoping for a less restrictive year (going into our third year in the time of Covid). Whatever happens, take the time to enjoy some good reading along the way.