A Christmas in Calcutta
This book was a challenge to write, to use a more prose heavy style for this traditional story.
The character of Charlotte came to my mind almost ready formed; her abilities, her attitude, and her insecurities were so clear to me, that it was a sheer joy to write her. Similarly Dr Watan, our narrator, was very precisely defined in my mind and, his character was a delight to write. Although initially a minor character, Branwell Holmes became a force of nature who couldn't be denied and he stole all the scenes he appeared in, a fantastic character who was an absolute pleasure to write; sort of a Hugh Grant on steroids.
Whilst I had formulated the basic plot very quickly, the actual mechanics and key scenes came to me one night in a mad rush. The next day I wrote it all down and I knew I had 'broken' the back of the book.
By setting it in a historical context I was able to project forward and foreshadow what would happen to these two countries in the new century. Indian independence was still decades away, but I was able to seed the idea even this early, and also to cast ahead and project what may occur. This was one of the fastest books I have written, because the characters demanded constant action and they drove me to complete it as soon as possible.
I have an idea for a sequel, A Passover in Peshawar, but I have other stories I want to explore first; perhaps in time I shall return to these adventurers - who knows!
A Charlotte Holmes Mystery