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Existential reckonings…
12 December 2011

December 2011 and the year is plunging into one of those existential reckonings I always find myself in between books. The Map is now completely done and dusted, with the booksellers and the reviewers and we (myself and the publishers and all that contributed to the making of the book – which in my case also involves the people I interviewed for the research – some fantastic Basque academics and various individuals including some Hamburg residents) are all a little edge. Particularly yours truly, and being a complete control freak (what author isn’t?) it’s a little like giving your baby over to the midwife and just praying she doesn’t drop it. I’ve done as much as I possibly could at my end, now it’s a question of waiting and seeing whether the fuse ignites. It hits the stands in the UK on the 17th of January, Australia a couple of weeks later. What can I say? Frankly I think it’s a bloody good read, at least as strong as Sphinx – perhaps stronger, with an ending that disturbed even myself! (And hey, I wrote it!)

Actually the last six weeks I’ve thrown myself into the treatment of the next T.S.Learner book ‘Dynasty’. Set in 1983 it’s really a story of a man  – Matthias – who discovers he isn’t actually who he was bought up to believe. Set against the background of a Watch-making dynasty in the rarefied upper echelons of Zurich society, it will involve the treatment of the Romany community (Gypsy) in the 2nd World war – the Nazi killed 600 thousand – and the disappearance of the ‘Gypsy’ gold (similar to the Jewish Gold) confiscated and pocketed by the SS.

Although it’s a dark subject matter it does have a redemptive ending! Most authors tend to live in their books during the actual writing process, for me this is usually about eighteen months, and I have become increasing aware of how much of a balancing act this is psychologically. I will probably write something little (and perhaps humorous) as I write Dynasty to keep myself sane. A little like I wrote Yearn (the collection of short stories –Harper Collins Aus.) the same time I wrote The Map. But I am looking forward to the extraordinary people and places the research for Dynasty will no doubt take me – that’s always been one of the great perks of writing ‘quest’ thrillers (thanks Mike Ripley– who invented this term, check his blog out  – Getting away with Murder) – not sure if I will always stay in the box, ‘though!) The solace of writing genre is not only the sense of reaching a broad audience but also the sense of educating as well as entertaining (least of all myself). If I stay excited, hopefully you guys will too!

Happy holidays to all.

Tobsha x

aka T.S.Learner