Saturday, March 05, 2016

Guest Post: Roy Dimond on writing "Silence and Circumstance" published by Untreed Reads

Recently Earl Staggs wrote a guest post about the disappearance of Agatha Christie. That same incident was the basis for Silence and Circumstance written by Roy Dimond. Published last year in print and e-book formats by Untreed Reads, the read tells a fictional version of what happened. Please welcome author Roy Dimond to the blog…..

My novel, Silence and Circumstance published by Untreed Reads is a fictional account of a very real event.

On Friday, December 3, 1926 around 9:45 in the evening, Agatha Christie picked up the keys to her green Morris Cowley and drove away from the home where she had been so happy.
It was at this time with the recent death of her mother and the word divorce lingering over every marital conversation that Mrs. Christie must have felt pushed to her fateful decision.  
 Her vehicle was eventually found near Silent Pool, a lake in Surrey where the police found only her fur coat, suitcase and driver’s license.
It rapidly became national news that Agatha Christie was missing. Rewards were offered, bloodhounds were used, and for the first time ever, airplanes and divers searched. Five hundred policemen and an almost unbelievable 15,000 volunteers were organized. The newspapers of the day blared headlines asking their readers to search backyards and basements.
Even famous writers, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Dorothy Sayers immediately volunteered to help with the search.
These are the facts, but from here information is sketchy.
As a writer, this is where I took liberties and interweaved my fictional account of what happened during those 11 days. Silence and Circumstance is told from the unique perspective of Carlo Fisher, the Christie’s governess and below are several excerpts from my novel.

            As Agatha Christie’s governess, I had absolutely no warning that today was the day my role in her life would evolve from instructor to confident. A mysterious letter had just arrived, and the contents, I deciphered, were most upsetting.  That had not taken any great insight, since immediately upon opening the envelope Mr. And Mrs. Christie had a terrible row…
On this particular day, as I watched Mr. Christie rush out of the house in such a state that he forgot to close the garden gate before disappearing towards the train station, Mrs. Christie strode outside and thrust the letter that had caused all the commotion into my hand. At first, I thought she might accuse me of reading their private correspondence, when suddenly she hesitated.  She glared, apparently contemplating my offence and then her face softened, as if deciding my betrayal was impossible.  Tears formed in her eyes, but with the practiced English version of Greek stoicism, refused to allow them to trickle down her cheek.  Instead of an accusation I was startled to hear a half-sobbed request, “Please read this.”…

            It was a simple enough request for Agatha Christie to meet someone named Moe Berg who apparently represented our old colonies in America… 

Imagine my dismay when Mrs. Christie asked if I would actually consider meeting this Moe Berg character on her behalf.  “My dear Charlotte, I do not want to impose and I want it to be perfectly clear that I ask this intrusion as a friend, not as your employer. There may be some danger involved and you may, of course, without reservation decline.”…
I decided that to ask more would be impudent, so queried only when I should leave.
            “Immediately.” she responded while blowing her nose.

And thus Charlotte Fisher embarked on her adventure

            The entire time I was writing, Silence and Circumstance I felt conflicted. The struggle was simple enough. As a new author, who was I to pen a story about the greatest mystery writer of all time, even if it was a fictional account of a real event. To type her name, let alone the other great scribes such as Parker, Sayers, Hemingway, who are all entwined in my story, each name gave me pause, if not a migraine.

I felt unworthy and yet the story somehow flowed. An encouraging agent, Malaga Baldi, a supportive publisher, Jay Hartman of Untreed Reads, helped me fight against my angst, so that I could push ahead.

Even the grande dame herself, Mrs. Christie supported in her own way, as her voice came softly, late in the night, my imagination working overtime. “We are the same, for we are writers.” It was a simple message that calmed my mind.

At my low point, I came close to packing it in, even as Mrs. Christie’s voice encouraged me not to, but reading that other writers had the same insecurities, even highly successful writers, somehow bound us together, and again, I was one with the profession, able to march proudly across the finish line.

So do not let rejection, that great unfeeling River of No, defeat you. Just finish the damn manuscript and when your query comes back rejected, send out another that very day. When your novel is finally accepted, remember this blog and take the time to inspire the next writer.

Roy Dimond ©2016

For more on Roy Dimond’s work check out the links below:.

1 comment:

Earl Staggs said...

I love the recipe Mr. Dimond uses in "Silence and Circumstance." You take some facts, blend in a generous portion of fiction, and if there any legends, sprinkle them liberally over the top. I've only done it once in a short story called "Where Billy Died," but I hope to do more. Mr Dimond courageously took on one of the most celebrated mysteries in history and served up an ingenious serving of intrigue. Well done, sir.