Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Change of Plan!

So, there I am, reading away at the Chronica Majora and biographies of Simon de Montfort, Eleanor of Provence and the Bigot Earls of Norfolk, and I find my eyes glazing over. I begin to realise that writing a novel about the goings on in Henry III's reign isn't for me at the moment. The research is turning out a plot line that is a bit like 'A day at the office with swords'. The hero's wife is coming over as a female version of Tony Blair and the hero himself, being a sensible chappy most of the time, manages to keep himself hidden in the sticks for long periods of time - except for the moment when he has a hissy fit in parliament at Henry III and the 8 years he spends trying to divorce his wife. Bottom line - it seemed like a good idea at the time, but the warning lights had started to blink and I realised I really did not want to do this.
So, heaving a sigh, I moved to plan B, which really should have been plan A to begin with. This time, a big 'Yessssss' sang from my inner writing barometer. The preliminary research has been going very well indeed, the psychic Akashic Record material is fabulous and I can't wait to get started. And who are the stars of the new project? Well, still Roger of Norfolk, but the second earl who was a contemporary of William Marshal and the man responsible for building Framlingham Castle. He married Ida de Tosney, one of Henry II's concubines and the mother of William Longespee, earl of Salisbury. Like William Marshal, Roger had to fight his way from lower down the food chain. In his case he was fighting his way back, rather than up. His father, Hugh Bigod had taken the side of the Young King in the rebellion of 1173 and in consequence, when he died, Henry used a family inheritance dispute to take away the main Bigod strongholds of Framlingham and Bungay and withhold the title of earl. He never did give it to Roger, who had to wait for Richard to come to the throne before he could regain his lands and his title. Behind the scenes there is one hell of a lot of juicy family conflict that would put any modern soap opera to shame - and it echoes down the generations. An additional bonus will be guest appearances from William Marshal and his family. What's not to like on the author's side?
As some blog readers will know, I use the Akashic Records, sometimes known as Remote Viewing, to augment my research. I did a session with my friend yesterday and here, as a small gift, is her description of Roger of Norfolk's physical features:
'He's got ordinary coloured hair - mousey-gold-brown, with a fringe and wavy bits at the side. It's quite fine and floaty but there's lots of it. High cheekbones, straight, very nice eyebrows, tapering at the ends. His nose has a slight bump in the middle. It isn't thin, quite broad at the base. His eyes are intelligent and sensitive and the colour is grey-blue, but more on the grey side. His lips are wide and fine at the ends like his brows, and they're well proportioned. He has a square chin. I feel those features have become finer and sharper since I saw him when he was younger.'
I think I'm going to enjoy working with him - and with Ida. I was going to say 'but that's another story' but it isn't. It's the same one!

The sketch of Framlingham Castle as it might have appeared in the 13thC is from the book Reconstructing The Past by Alan Sorrell



Anonymous said...

I can't beleive it! I was only thinking i hope you write about the Bigods of Framlingham sometime. I live a few miles from Fram and the castle is still there a very imposing structure it is too. A few years ago i took my daughter to look at it, she was about 8 at the time, she walked round the walls with a guide, i can't go up there as i am a chicken.

Anonymous said...

To be honest, anything you write about is absolutely fine with me!
I only have one complaint - that I can read faster than you can write - and rightly so, the detail and research you do are first class, (must be the R.A. syndrome).

I fall in love with every hero, wish I could go back and rename my children - doubt they would be happy now at 16 and 20!, and only have medieval dreams!

Thank you Elizabeth - if you are at York, dare I say hello?


Aarti said...

Susan, I found this post really interesting. I had never heard about Akashic Records before, but reading your post, I thought "That sounds very Indian!" and when I looked it up on the amazing wikipedia site, it does appear that the word is derived from Hindi. Which is exciting.

But when you describe Roger and say "since I saw him when he was younger," who is the "I" you are referring to? To yourself in that field of consciousness? Or to the person whose memories you are given access to? Just wondering- I don't know if that question even makes sense!

Elizabeth Chadwick said...

Hi Judi,
I'm heading to Framlingham later this year, although I haven't set a date yet, but I need to put in some local research. I have been thinking on and off about the Bigods for a while and Roger II seems the sort of guy who will fit well into the pattern of my writing.
Eleri, many thanks for dropping by and I'm sorry I don't write faster. I have tried, but what comes out is rubbish, so I guess I have to stick at the speed that suits! Giggle re re-naming the children. I have had letters from readers who have named their kids after characters in the novels. There is one Oliver around who perhaps won't thank me for The Love Knot! Although seriously, I love that name.
Sadly I won't be at York. Not sure what Regia events I'm doing this year at the moment...

Aarti - It's my friend who can access the Akashic records. I think they probably are Indian and I know she has several Indian clients on her books, but she is the one with the detailed knowledge about what they are and how they work. I am just the grateful recipient of her abilities! The 'since I saw him' quote is my friend speaking of Roger in an earlier session she did when she saw him as a younger, still developing man.

Jane Henry said...

Ooh Framlingham!! One of my favourite castles. My mum took me there when I was about twelve and I spent hours sketching the gateway. I don't think you could get up to the top last time I was there, but it's a fabulous place. The Howards had it later didn't they?

Can't wait to read all about it, Elizabeth!
Love Jane
PS My hero is going to take my heroine for a day trip to Framlingham, but they fall out so she never gets to go!

Anonymous said...

just found your book and the first time in reading it. Great what can I say and it was also the cover that drew me to get it. The Marsh Kings Daughter very good