Today, I’m pleased to feature Roy Dimond and his new release, SILENCE AND CIRCUMSTANCE. Here he answers some questions about the book, which for all you mystery buffs…will find very interesting! A mystery concerning mystery writer, Agatha Christie! The first five sentences of the fifth chapter he shares here, are enough to hook me! I’ve purchased the book and can’t wait to read it!
Thank you so much, Roy for taking part in Five on Friday. I always enjoy your answers and your books!
-I wasn’t familiar with the disappearance of Agatha Christie, but then again, I’m not much of a history buff. How did you come up with the story idea?
First Ann, let me say thanks once again for allowing me to participate in your wonderful Five on Friday Blog. It is just great talking with you again. I am very excited about the launch of Silence and Circumstance published by Untreed Reads and a big thank you to my agent Malaga Baldi who got me the deal.
Well, the disappearance of Agatha is well known for most readers of Mrs. Christie’s novels. At the time, December 1926, it was possibly the biggest story of the decade, followed by virtually every household in England. Imagine if Stephen King went missing today, possibly kidnapped or worse? Social media would be frantic with information. It was not that different in England at the time of her kidnapping. At that time, morning newspapers and neighborhood gossip took the place of Google and twitter, but information was shared almost as quickly.
The idea intrigued me to develop the story from a different perspective, so I chose to tell the story from the eyes of the Governess, Charlotte Fisher. No one knows for sure what happened those 11 days Agatha went missing, but the prevailing theory is that she had a nervous breakdown. But other theories persist, from kidnapping, to a public relations stunt for her upcoming book launch. Some even believe Agatha worked for British Intelligence.
I like to think she was on a mission that would be relevant even today.
I think it’s clever to write a mystery concerning a mystery writer. Was that part of the appeal of your story idea? And, since it’s fiction based on a true event, how much is fact?
Thank you and yes it was absolutely part of the appeal. Writing a fictional account about a real event, Agatha Christie going missing, it’s a natural. I had stormy nights, and lightening, and wind storms blowing through my head the entire time I wrote. There is a tremendous amount of fact in the book. I researched it the very best I could. Information started popping up that guided my story. For example, the fact that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Dorothy Sayers actually participated in the search. It was the first time that planes were involved in searching for a missing person and canals were dredged looking for a body. That stuff is right out of Agatha’s stories only it’s true and about her. Every British citizen was asked to keep an eye open for Mrs. Christie and 16,000 officers were involved in the search.
It was a rich environment to allow a writer’s mind to play. So the fictional part was, for me, as much fun as the research. To be able to bring Hemingway and secret societies into play, well it was a wonderful experience. It seemed that each character I added did somehow actually tie into the search, as the English elite was a very closed society back in that time.
-Are you an Agatha fan? Do you read her work?
I am a huge Agatha Christie fan and have read most if not all her books including her amazing short stories. I have seen the actual Orient Express and taken the Blue Train of which she wrote. I gave a small nod to Agatha in the opening of my book, as the cast of characters are introduced in order of appearance with a small write up about each one, as she often did in her novels.
-Just for fun, since this is Five on Friday. Go to the fifth chapter of your book, and give us the first five sentences of that chapter.
The main character Charlotte “Carlo” Fisher is speaking. The Dorothy is Dorothy Sayers who, by the way, invented the saying, “It pays to advertise.” As with most writers I gathered this information through research.
It was near midnight by the time we navigated our way through the back streets and alleys of London arriving exhausted at the London train station. For most of the walk, Dorothy held her arm around my waist in an embrace that I found most disconcerting. Even in the midst of the other waiting passengers, she held me close. I am sure with her boyish clothes and haircut many thought we were man and wife. Despite my discomfort I said nothing, as I did not exactly know how to broach the subject other than occasionally straining away from her, an action that she seemed to not notice.
-I’ve read your book, The Rubicon Effect, which has a lot of twists and turns, and if I remember correctly, also multiple points of view. From the excerpt of Silence and Circumstance, it’s written in first person. Was that a hard switch for you, or, are you more comfortable writing first person?
Thank you for remembering The Rubicon Effect and yes it was written from multiple points. Silence and Circumstance however has two threads running through it. One is Agatha’s Governess searching for her missing employer, but also Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his protege, a very young, Ian Fleming who travel to Istanbul in search of Agatha’s diary. As in any good mystery, clues guide the characters. The story comes down to this… Is Agatha Christie a pawn or the puppet-master?
Thank you again, Ann for your time and support. You always ask the most interesting questions. Best of luck with your own writing career. More books Ann! Readers like myself demand it! All the best.
Roy Dimond lives in Pender Harbour, a serene coastal village along the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. From his log home overlooking the ocean, Roy and his wife Lorraine spend their days hiking around the surrounding lakes and forest.
Before writing his first novel, The Singing Bowl, Roy was a Youth Worker in the education system. Since retiring, he has traveled the world. Through his experiences, many interesting characters and stories have found their way into his manuscripts.
To learn more about Roy check out his websites.