Retirement presented me with a gift and a challenge. The gift was virtually unlimited time to do as I please. The challenge was to find something to do with it.
I have always enjoyed reading, from romance to sci-fi, and had written a few essays over the years, so when the idea of Natalie Tereshchenko came to me, I decided to try my hand at the novel format. I was inspired to start by meeting a lovely young author, Bernardine Evaristo, who came to the local library to talk about her life and books, and the challenges of writing.
There's a lot to learn, isn't there? The first three months were occupied with research (the story is set in Russia during the revolution, about which I knew scarcely anything) and learning the techniques of dialogue, narrative and description. But do you know what? I found I loved it.
I write about people, and how they deal with their lives. They could be real people in real situations. I am greatly influenced by Jane Austen; I admire the way she placed her characters in their time and place, and allowed them to respond to events and to each other.