Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Writing - Creating a literary background

When we write stories we always take into consideration the place, time, weather, country and so forth - could be summed up in the term 'background'.

Image result for Tynemouth 1880
Tynemouth 1880 

My current project is based upon a real event that took place in 1883 in the north-east of England. So I am trying to find as much information about that time as I can - a fairly obvious step. It isn't always easy and tends to come in tiny fragments that have to be pieced together. 

I'll give you an example,

One of the characters in the story - Ian - needs to travel from Tynemouth to Sunderland a distance of about 12 miles. These days we could go by taxi, drive ourselves, take a train, catch a bus, ride a bike or even walk. Here is the news! In 1883 no cars, no buses, no trains and even no bikes, well not many. In fact it was during the 1880s when most of our transport systems began to operate at different levels in different parts of the country. In other words that doesn't help me at all so I have to consider how people travelled around the UK 140 years ago.

Image result for UK transport 1880

Long journeys were still being undertaken by horse drawn coach often referred to in Dickens' work. Local journeys were taken in several ways, on foot, on horseback, horse drawn trams were coming into service and there were pony and traps. The type of transport depended on the household wealth.  Ian's parents were poor and so didn't really travel which was true for the majority of the working classes.
My own family moved in the mid 19th century from Quarrington, Durham to Hartlepool, Durham; following work. This was also a distance of around 12 miles but the family moved. These days it would take twenty minutes to get there!
So for Ian, who had engineered a situation where he was required to go from Tynemouth to Sunderland, also 12 miles, he had to find a way to travel. There would be a coach which he would have to pay for and is probably the obvious answer. Of course if his employers had a horse or a carriage of their own then he would travel that way. 

So that is one minor aspect of the background which I have researched in depth and it has taken a while, but it has been interesting. It is worth spending the time.


Steele has to travel back to Japan to justify recent behaviours that may have revealed his connection with the Gurentai. He is given a task to complete that finds him on the ill-fated Flight MH370 in Kuala Lumpur. Hours later he awakens in a cell in a place and country of which he has no knowledge. 
Being the resourceful man he is, Steele manages to escape and travels north meeting up with his fiancĂ©e Naomi Kobayashi in Astana the capital of Kazakhstan. 
Steele is naturally curious about the fate of the other 238 passengers from the plane which drives him onward to investigate further. He discovers that there are links between Russian organised crime and a Muslim group which stirs fears in his mind regarding the fate of MH370. This causes him to go to the Venice of the North, St Petersburg, where he finds the leader of the Russian mafia and a link with the Muslim pilots of the plane. 
All does not go well however, and Steele and Kobayashi are captured by their mafia enemy and incarcerated in MH370 on the way to the target that Steele suspected all along – in London.
Can Steele extricate himself from this seemingly hopeless situation? 
Has Steele convinced the Gurentai that he is trustworthy enough to deserve their support?
Will Steele manage to deflect the missile in which he is incarcerated from killing thousands in London?
This story is a speculative journey based upon the data and misinformation surrounding the loss of Malaysian Flight 370 in March 2014.


What you find between the covers of my book is not the definitive list of possibilities but is rather an indication of the lengths that the powers that be will go to to hide from the public those things they deem sensitive.

The book is available in ebook format through Smashwords and Amazon which includes for Nook and Kindle. The two relevant links are below.

If you wish to hold the book in your hands then it is available from completelynovel.com in paperback and will be with you before Christmas if you order in the next few days. That link is below.

If you want to see what others think check this link out,

God Bless