I had finished the first draft of next year's Royal Spyness book, called Malice at the Palace. I can't give you a cover picture because there isn't one yet. But it takes place mainly at Kensington Palace. Not nearly as well known as its sister Buckingham, it is older and has housed many generations of royals. It was the home of George I. It was where Queen Victoria was born and at the time I write about it was known as the Aunt Heap--because various daughters and granddaughters of Queen Victoria lived in apartments there. More recently it achieved fame as the home of Charles and Diana. It was where William and Harry grew up. It was outside the gold tipped gates that the incredible tribute of flowers was left for Diana. And now it is where William and Kate are raising their family. (second one on the way, in case you haven't heard).
Oh, and it also houses more than its share of family ghosts, some of whom make cameo appearances in my book. I realize I'm sailing a little close to the wind with this story--a real royal scandal of the time. But it is well substantiated in the newspapers so I feel I will not be treading on too many toes.
And of course those words THE END now means that the hard work starts. Going through the whole thing again, examining every sentence for clumsy phrasing. Reading a lot out loud. Making sure that the plot makes sense and doesn't give too much away. And when my polishing is complete to goes to my husband John, who will pull it apart yet again and we'll argue a lot and then I'll rewrite one more time before it goes off to my agent and my editor.
But if you'd like a little preview now here is the scene when Georgie arrives at the palace.
So I'm interested to know, dear Reds and Readers--how do you feel about real people as characters in fiction? I try to keep mine as close to their true lives as possible but what do you think of books that take liberties with them--Queen Elizabeth as a sleuth? Hitler as a sleuth?
Malice at the Palace will be published by Berkley Prime Crime August 2015.