Indian or British? An intimate look into pre-war India.
I was inspired to write Regency books because I read Georgette Heyer as a teenager and later read Jane Austen's wonderful books. In latter years I watched the many Jane Austen adaptations that appeared on television and this spurred me on to write my own Jane Austen variations, as well as over thirty Regency stories.
However, when I found my mother's journal about the time she spent in India with her father, my grandfather, I decided to write a historical family saga using her memoirs for authentic background and detail. I was astonished at the luxury of wealth of my grandfather's family and am sure that living for two years in what was virtually a palace (albeit a Victorian one) changed my mother, and not for the better.
The disparity between the wealthy Brahmins and the lower castes was even more pronounced in the 1930s than it is today. The Untouchables – the ones who emptied the chamber pots and did all the other unpleasant tasks – were reviled and ignored by everyone. My mother caused a major upset by sitting on the doorstep of her apartment to have a cigarette first thing in the morning.This meant the man designated to empty pots and clean bathrooms couldn't do so as he wasn't allowed to be seen by the family.
The first part of Victoria's War, Shadows, uses a lot of my mother's actual descriptions of the India where she lived for two years between 1937 and 1939. I also made the decision to get her memoirs typed and transferred to my PC and then to publish them on Amazon.
The electronic version has been live since last month and the paperback version is now live with Create Space. I shall make a colossal loss on this project, but writers don't do everything in order to earn royalties – sometimes we write and publish books because they are important to us.
Victoria's War :Shadows
Indian or British?
Fenella J Miller