Sunday, 1 November 2009

Feeling the buzz

It has been an exciting week with the publication of the paperback of THE LOVEDAY CONSPIRACY and a special thank you to the readers who contacted me saying how much they enjoyed the hardback edition. Such emails always give me a boost when I am struggling with the current work in progress and the plot seems to be flagging. They make me dig deeper and some of the memorable scenes from the series have been created after receiving such emails. I thought my readers would like to know that in their own way they do become part of the Loveday creation.

When writing the Loveday novels it is important to me that I involve the characters in the more commonplace historical events that are happening at the time. In the earlier books following on from the revolution France had been at war with England since 1793 and Adam was involved in working for the British government rescuing our agents, and sailors from French prisons. He also helped French émigrés flee their country and was involved in sea battles. In 1799 Napoleon was elected First Consul and in 1801 he had set up a dazzling court at the Tuileries. At this time there was a strong Royalist movement in both France and England to restore Louis XVIII to the throne.
Much has been written about the major battles and lives of the leaders involved but how an individual copes during a crisis brings a freshness to any given historical event.
At the time The Loveday Conspiracy was set, 1802, England and France were enjoying a short truce. The English nobility and gentility flocked to Paris and it was a period of great merriment. However I suspect suspicion would still have been running high between both countrymen. This was the perfect time for Adam and Japhet to track down Sir Percy Osgood who was believed to be a double-agent. It would also have been plausible that Lady Alys would also be seeking to prove that her husband was not a traitor as she could safely travel to France at this time. Yet the truce was fragile. Within France were many dissenters and Napoleon was far from popular. He was promoting members of his family to high positions of power that more worthy men resented. To secure his place as First Consul he needed more victories and he was also planning to make himself Emperor.
After the years of bloody terror when the guillotine had eradicated the monarchy and their followers, the people of France did not want to replace the ancien regime with another potentially corrupt one.
In 1803 the end of the truce with England was sudden with Napoleon amassing a fleet at Boulogne to invade England. Fortunately most of the foreign visitors had fled the country, those who remained were being seized and detained by Napoleon, and it is into this situation our family have to fight for their lives. A few months after Japhet, Adam and Tristan escaped France. Napoleon crowned himself Emperor and a new reign of war spread across Europe.

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