Thursday, 16 August 2012

Researching the Occupation & RNA NWS


The book I'm working on at the moment is set in Jersey during the Occupation and researching it has been great fun. Although there are constant reminders from those days - walls along the beaches, countless bunkers and concrete towers across the coast and even in fields - I thought I'd pretty much covered sources for research.

Then Rob mentioned that he had some papers he'd collected years ago stored in his mother's loft and these are some of them. Now I have access to newspapers of that time showing the news - obviously - but also adverts and other smaller stories of the day. What a find!

The downside is that although I'd completed this book a couple of years ago, I've now decided to give it a major rewrite, which has meant changing one of the character's stories almost completely. So, despite taking this week off work to concentrate on it, as well as working on this book over the past month, I know that I'm not going to be able to submit a full manuscript for this years RNA NWS. I've never submitted a 'partial' before, but this will be the third book I've rewritten this year, so I'm trying not to be too hard on myself about it. I can't help feeling frustrated though.

Right, I now need to stop fretting about it and get on with the rewrite. Good luck to all my other NWS colleagues who are typing furiously to get their books completed by the 31st August deadline.

32 comments:

Mama J said...

Wow. I love history so I'd get lost in those newspapers.

Pat Posner said...

Debs, you'd probably have regretted it if you hadn't decided on a rewrite after that fantastic 'find in the attic'.
Good luck and I'll so look forward to reading the book when it's published.
xxPat

Rena George said...

What an exciting find, Debs. I'll bet these old newspapers make a fascinating read. Good luck with that RNA NWS submission. xx

Janice Horton said...

Hi Debs - I agree, what a wonderful find! I think you are right to follow your instincts on what you are hoping to achieve with your rewrites. Better to see the big picture than to strive for short term goals, in my own opinion. Good luck with it all! xx

Kate Jackson said...

Those papers are like stepping back in time, Debs. Priceless for research and so interesting. Don't feel bad about submitting a partial, better to do that than send in nothing. Remember you've rewritten two other books this year which is no small feat. Good luck with the NWS.

Teresa Ashby said...

What a wonderful find! You're right to stop fretting. It is going to be such a good book :-) x

Melissa Marsh said...

Oohh! Primary source material! That is the absolute BEST kind to have. I'm so happy for you! I have quite a collection of magazines from the 1940s that I love looking through, and our historical society has all of the local newspapers on microfilm from that time period, as well. Living history right at your fingertips. :)

Best of luck on the rewrite!

Jean Bull said...

Good Luck, Debs. I'm sure your novel will be all the richer with all the detail from the newspapers.

Amanda said...

What a brilliant find, Debs. Good luck with the book! :-)

Phillipa said...

Deb - your books sounds fascinating and I wouldn't worry about it being partial, sounds like you've already achieved so much this year, you've done amazingly well.

Troy said...

I echo the thoughts of other commenters that it is an absolutely fascinating find. I could spend hours reading through those old papers even without having a connection to Jersey.

To me it almost seems like fate that the collection had been hoarded and now becomes available to you.

Georgina Troy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Thank you all very much. Your lovely comments have helped me feel less frustrated by not being able to finish this rewrite in time for the NWS deadline.

They are fascinating papers and I look forward to working my way through them all.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Wonderful find, Debs - and a partial is a better idea at this stage so you can write the book you envisage.

Anna Scott Graham said...

Good luck with the rewrite; I have a novel like that, lurking in my computer. Sometimes those manuscripts seem devilish, but I bet you;ll turn out a fabulous revision!

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Rosemary - I do hope so, thanks.

anna - that would be nice ;)

Chris Stovell said...

I know you'll get there, Debs, because you stick at it. What A treasure trove of original material!

Flowerpot said...

The third book yhou've rewritten this year? Debs, that is incredible. Well done you and best of luck!

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

I hope the rewrite is going well, I am sure all your hard work on them this year will pay dividends eventually.

jerseys said...

What a wonderful find! You're right to stop fretting. It is going to be such a good book :-) x

Suzanne Jones said...

How terrific. Lots of luck with the rewrite.

xx

Karen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen said...

3rd book in a year is so impressive, and your research looks fascinating. Lovely to have such a wealth of information at your fingertips :o)

Good luck with the deadline!

Georgina Troy said...

chris - I do hope so ;) I was thrilled when Rob brought all these papers home. What a treat!

flowerpot - thank you. I need to catch up with a bit of reading now.

lindy lou mac - thank you, I do hope so.

jerseys - thank you.

suzanne jones - thanks very much.

karen - thank you. Thankfully my family are busy enough to not mind me spending so much time writing.

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

I really must learn to sign in as the right person when posting comments!

Jen said...

Ooh, that sounds terrific. My dad has soooo many tales of growing up during the Occupation. Shall I send him round?

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Jen - thanks. I might just take you up on that!

Dizzy C said...

Late comment here.

Oh wow! That is a find. Those papers look so interesting. :)

Good luck with the book!

carol
DizzyC

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