What I wrote for [livejournal.com profile] yuletide

Jan. 1st, 2017 03:49 pm
reynardo: (techie)
[personal profile] reynardo
There I was, three weeks before the deadline, and no idea what was going to happen.

I was asked for a Lord Peter Wimsey, in a domestic setting. I have a number of friends who have just had their first child, and in each case the very sensible woman has discovered that small people do not follow your timetables - they follow their own and all you can do is go with it. Knowing that Bredon was born in October, I decided that Harriet has a nasty case of the incredible misery you get when your body is still recovering, your sleep cycles are shot and you think you are just not coping, even though you are.

Then, for a novel I'm in the middle of writing about a quite different subject, I was procrastinating browsing the Cambridge University library sites. Catching sight of a blog about incunabulae (things printed before 1500), I realised I could use that somehow. Then, reading the articles further, I discovered that UV light is often used to see old ink that has long since faded from eyesight.

But what could it be about? The penny dropped - I hit Wikipedia for people who died in 1499, and came across John Cicero, Elector of Brandenburg. There were some other lovely options, but a little more timewasting research on this person had me certain he was the one. I could make it a mystery that was almost 500 years old, quite gentle (I do adore a well-written G rated piece), and still fitted into Lord Peter's realm.

The Dowager Duchess and Bunter made themselves useful, as did a late autumn and the old orchard at Tallboys.

A quick look at historical blogs on cameras gave me the first 35mm commercially available camera, which I could well imagine Harriet being given and having fun learning how to use. Finally, the old name for a UV lamp was a Woods Lamp, which added a lovely verisimilitude to the language.

I can just sit down and churn stuff out quite easily, but made myself go back in this one and make sure it sat just right. [livejournal.com profile] lederhosen is my honest and forthright editor, who made sure the whole thing was readable and who made some excellent suggestions (not the only reason I married him, but a wonderful added bonus!).

And I had it up and posted two weeks before deadline, so I could concentrate on Christmas instead.

For your reading pleasure, A Touch of Sun.
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