Welcome to a new year, 2022, in some ways it feels the same as the last. I have a big year planned…writing a new book, renovating the world headquarters of Steven Knapp Writings (my spare bedroom), planning a research trip to England and hopefully moving on from Virus talk. Every year presents its own challenges. And the beauty of writing is it takes you away from a world you sometimes want to forget.
When I sit down to write, I go back in time to 1941 London. Not exactly where you would want to go to escape. London being bombed almost nightly and Londoners seeking shelter in basements or the Underground Tube stations. If they were lucky, sometimes the weather would be so bad over the Channel, Germany would have to postpone raids, at times, for days saving England from another night of horror. I always try to immerse myself in the time period I write about. As I sit here at my desk, I have a 1933 map of London next to me, a book on British slang, countless research books, first drafts, a Thesaurus, and most important of all, a story in my head that I am trying to transfer to a computer screen.
The Ruins of Saint Vincent takes place in England during The Blitz, and as I’m writing, I keep thinking of the resolve of the English people. One of the only European territories yet to be conquered by the Nazis, they sat a mere 20 miles across the Channel from an army which ran across Europe with almost no resistance. To their credit, life went on, it had to. Teatime was still teatime, whether you were home, at work, an RAF pilot, an Air Rid Patrol, or manning an anti-aircraft gun. The threat of a land invasion was deemed imminent at times, and everyone had to live with that. Of course, that invasion never came, and England survived the war, but I am pretty sure it was more difficult than “Keep Calm and Carry On.”
We will get through these difficult times, we always do. I am reading a good book about Winston Churchill in 1940. The pressure on him to carry a nation through wartime was immense. Behind the scenes, he had his doubts, but he never let that be seen.
I’m tired of Covid, politics, 24-hour news and all the craziness in this world, so I disappear into a story in my mind to get me through. I hope to share The Ruins of Saint Vincent with all of you soon and as I make my way through the year, I will “Keep Calm and Carry On” with a glass of wine in hand, of course.
Thanks for the continued support and Happy New Year!