So, over to Pippa:
What is the title of your next book?
My mother had a family ring that always intrigued me. It was a Victorian golden ring set with a bit of quartz stone through which ran a streak of natural gold. It had, I was told, been given to my great great grandmother by her brother who had brought it back from the Klondike.
So I started reading about the 1897 Klondike Gold Rush …..
Historical adventure for readers of about eight to twelve.
Well, I’d certainly want Maggie Smith to play Grandmama, even though I had written that character before Downton Abbey hit our television screens! Fa and Ida I would like played by brilliant actors I’d never seen in anything before so that I could truly believe that they were those characters.
Escaping stuffy family expectations, Ida runs away with Fa to travel many thousands of dangerous miles in a search for gold, but also a search for a life for their little family now that Mama has died.
Gosh, I’m not sure! I did so much research and note-making, then wrote with false starts before even getting to writing the first draft, but it certainly took (enjoyable) months and months.
It is to be published by Catnip in March 2013.
I suppose my own ‘Raven Boy’ was similarly an adventure based on real history, although that book is set in 1666 London, with plague and the Great Fire, and the ravens at The Tower.
The ‘what’ would be that golden ring. The ‘who’ would be the important people in my life who believe that my writing is worthwhile.
I discovered so much of interest when researching the Klondike Gold Rush that I was in danger of over-stuffing the story with facts. My way around that problem was to have Ida writing occasional letters to Grandmama back home, telling odd and interesting and funny details that she thinks will amuse or impress the old lady. She doesn’t tell Grandmama that she gets chased by a bear!
Over a hundred thousand people set off to find Klondike gold, most travelling many thousands of miles, going into completely wild, almost Arctic, terrain. Each had to carry a ton of goods on which to live once they got into the Klondike. They scaled mountains, made their own boats, then sailed and rowed and poled those boats down rapids and rivers for thousands of miles as the ice broke in the spring …. Giving them just a short sub-Arctic summer in which to pan and dig and sift for gold before winter closed in again. Crooks and heroes, innocents and hardened adventurers all went, and so did women and some children.
A big thank-you to Pippa for telling us all of this and roll on March 2013, the publication date of Finding Fortune. I can't wait to read it from cover to cover. If you want to know more about Pippa's books check out her website at www.pippagoodhart.co.uk