Chasing Ghosts: Sequel to China Blue (The Dudley Sisters Saga Book 6)
Available in ebook and paperback (6 June 2018)
My thanks to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for the blog tour invitation and to Madalyn for providing the guest post. There is a giveaway at the end of the post to win signed copies of China Blue and Chasing Ghosts.
| About the Book |
In 1949 after receiving treatment for shell shock in Canada, Claire’s husband disappears.
Has Mitch left her for the woman he talks about in his sleep? Or is he on the run from accusations of wartime treachery?
Claire goes to France in search of the truth, aided by old friends from the Resistance.
by Madalyn Morgan
Thank you for asking me to talk about a subject of my choice, My Reading Corner. I am often asked about research and plot. I do both because my novels are set in World War Two and have complex storylines. I love it when a character takes me off-plot, and I go with it. But I have a tendency to meander, which slows the action and the story down. A plot brings me back to the story. I like strong storylines that move quickly. Research is also necessary if you’re writing in a well-documented time in history.
If a debut author, which I was in 2012, is crazy enough to plan four novels about four sisters, with four different careers in a time that is unfamiliar, unless they have a photographic memory, can hold dates in their head and have the ability to recall situations verbatim, they need to plot.
The four sisters are together in the first novel, Foxden Acres, which is the oldest Dudley sister, Bess’s story. It is in Foxden Acres that their futures are decided. Each novel stands alone but is interwoven with the other novels in the saga. When the sisters are at Foxden – for Christmas, a birthday or a wedding – they must be at Foxden in their own stories. (The same for events in the war – the bombing of Coventry, Battle of Britain, D-Day, etc.)
So, to ensure someone wasn’t enjoying Christmas in one book and overseas at the time in another, I kept a day-diary. Every time something significant happened in Foxden Acres, I made a note of it, leaving four blank pages – one for each of the other books, and one for luck. I could not have kept control of who was doing what, when and where, without the diary.
To add to the work, I had to do huge amounts of research. Foxden Acres needed intensive research on every aspect of WW2, including events that affected Bess personally. I researched teaching in 1939, the evacuation of school children, the Land Army, farms, billets, and the Commonwealth Aerodromes near Foxden – Bitteswell and Bruntingthorpe. Also, the RAF, Wellington Bombers – and the Polish airmen who escaped Poland and came to England to fly with the RAF. Foxden is near Coventry, so I needed to research the bombing of the city in November 1940.
The second novel, Applause, is set in a London theatre where I had worked when I was an actress. I still had to research the Luftwaffe, the Blitz, the East End, ENSA, shows and songs of the time, fascists, Nazi sympathisers, GIs, and how many Jewish Londoners were treated. But, because I knew the West End, and had already researched the war, Applause took less time.
China Blue, the third book, set in England and France needed the most research. I was used to the process, but with this book, it was also necessary to research as the story developed. What I knew about the SOE (Special Operations Executive) you could have written on the back of a postage stamp. So, I researched the SOE and the training: Parachuting out of aeroplanes, surviving interrogation, living in occupied France, working with the French Resistance, sabotage – and roads and bridges that were held by the German army. I invented a town called, Gisoir, which was fun, but I needed to be familiar with several districts in Paris. Thank goodness for Google-walk. China Blue was the most difficult of the four books to research and write. It was also the most exciting.
Book four, The 9:45 To Bletchley, needed very little research. It begins on the night Coventry was bombed in 1940, which I’d already researched for Foxden Acres. I needed to know about some of the work done at Bletchley Park and spent a fascinating day there. However, because during the war the facility was top secret, if it didn’t affect Ena Dudley it wasn’t necessary. I researched engineering factories, MI5, poisons that knock you out but don’t kill you and read some great biographies about spies.
Writing Foxden Hotel, the sequel to Foxden Acres and Chasing Ghosts, the sequel to China Blue – both post-war, the research was easier. Although I still needed to research medical and police procedures in nineteen-fifties England and Canada.
Thank goodness for Google and history websites. When I wrote Foxden Acres in 2012, I spent a fortune on research books. For my current novel, it’s 80% web and 20% book.
| About the Author |
Madalyn Morgan has been an actress for more than thirty years working in Repertory theatre, the West End, film and television. She is a radio presenter and journalist, writing articles for newspapers and magazines.
Madalyn was brought up in Lutterworth, at the Fox Inn. The pub was a great place for an aspiring actress and writer to live, as there were so many different characters to study and accents to learn. At twenty-four Madalyn gave up a successful hairdressing salon and wig-hire business for a place at E15 Drama College, and a career as an actress.
In 2000, with fewer parts available for older actresses, Madalyn taught herself to touch type, completed a two-year correspondence course with The Writer’s Bureau, and started writing. After living in London for thirty-six years, she has returned to her home town of Lutterworth, swapping two window boxes and a mortgage, for a garden and the freedom to write.
Happy to be an Indie Author, Madalyn has successfully published six novels. Foxden Acres, Applause, China Blue and The 9:45 To Bletchley are set before and during WW2 and tell the wartime stories of Bess, Margot, Claire, and Ena Dudley. Foxden Hotel and Chasing Ghosts are both post war. Chasing Ghosts is a sequel to China Blue.
Madalyn’s books are available on Amazon – in paperback and all formats of eBook.
**** GIVEAWAY ****
Giveaway – Win signed copies of China Blue and Chasing Ghosts (UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
My Reading Corner is not responsible for this giveaway. For any further details, please contact Rachel’s Random Resources.