Talk Talk Talk
It’s what writers do when they’re not writing.
And I’m doing just that at Blandford Forum Library at 2pm on Saturday 26th March – describing the thought process and planning behind the Dorset Chronicles. Book 5 of the Dorset Chronicles, All to the Sword, has just come out – come and listen to the chilling recounting of the Glen Coe Massacre, while back in Dorset, things are going awry.
The Dorset Chronicles depicts real and fictitious people during the late 17th Century – building my contention that this is the period in which our modern nation emerged.
I’d love to see as many people as possible!
Most are indifferent.
Some cause damage inadvertently.
A very few are actually spot on, doing the business, delivering for the people.
While a handful of governments are evil.
That was the case in 1692 when the governments of England and Scotland colluded in a massacre of Scottish citizens.
MacDonalds to be precise.
Yes, they were awkward so-and-sos, the MacDonalds of Glen Coe. But does that give the government the right to wade in with swords slashing? Especially when the culprits were staying in the MacDonald homes in Glen Coe.
Talk about abusing hospitality!
The more I researched Glen Coe, the more I realised how downright bad and evil the governments of 1692 were. To order the soldiers to turn on their own people, their own hosts, and slaughter them, putting “All to the Sword under Seventy”. Of course it had a lot to do with the Jacobite movement and making William III’s backyard secure so that he could concentrate on his European goals. There’s a wider context but that can’t obscure or justify the evil committed.
That evil lingers, at least that’s how I see it. Glen Coe has an atmosphere even now, 330 years later.
“It was as if the dead crowded out the living…” These are the opening words of All to the Sword, Book 5 in the Dorset Chronicles, the history and drama surrounding the emergence of our modern nation.
All to the Sword will be released in mid-February 2022, a little delayed but better late than never!
More about All to the Sword here: https://chrisoswaldbooks.com/all-to-the-sword/
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Seven Steps to Becoming a Writer
- Read everything regardless of whether it’s any good, even adverts on the tube and newspaper headlines when passing by.
- Read a whole lot more, try out all sorts; absorb everything, gradually it will become yours, your style I mean.
- Take a few great books and consider what it is that makes them so (for example, Pride and Prejudice for its humour, Evelyn Waugh’s Sword of Honour trilogy, again for the humour written into an all-encompassing, so clever story. Then there’s George Orwell, Thomas Hardy, H.E Bates, Agatha Christie, Ken Follett, whatever you fancy).
- Throw out your fear and
- Write, write and write again. Don’t be frightened of rejection and ridicule, they’re no more than staging posts along the way.
- And remember, it’s a journey without end. Sure, there’s going to be remarkable achievements but a storyteller is all ears and eyes for listening, looking and learning. And that learning is lifelong.
- Enjoy your journey.
All to the Sword, book 5 in the Dorset Chronicles, is coming very soon. It’s been delayed by several other projects but is finally in last pre-publication stages and due out in late September. Reserve your copy now and, in the meantime, check into the rest of the Dorset Chronicles series, presenting the drama and excitement behind the forging of our modern nation.
Here are the opening words:
It was as if the dead crowded out the living, creating a world without balance; just a small world, for in the next glen there was no such feeling, no sense that life-gone was in the ascendancy, that what had happened could never be dispelled by either present or future, leaving nature and time as spent forces.
It was as if the dead would hang there forever, never moving on, never finding that better place.
Forty-eight hours earlier, when Bridget Davenport had first arrived, it had been different. Not alone at all buttravelling with a party of friends and relations, riding carelessly into Maryburg and staring at the mass of Ben Nevis rising above the little town, recently named for King William’s wife, Mary Stuart. They had left the Oldmoor estate of Percy Blades-Robson, just outside Alness, eighteen days earlier, making a leisurely transit along the Great Glen and arriving at the bottom of Loch Lochy on 11th February 1692. One hundred miles in eighteen days, plenty of time to stop and converse with people along the way. Bridget had led those conversations, explaining her purpose and opening a new page of her notebook each time.