Monday, February 09, 2009

A writer's life can be a cold one!

When writing I always research meticulously, I want the details and background to be as authentic as I can make them However, this past week I have been "living history"! We ran out of central heating oil and have had to rely on a couple of electric heaters and a small open fire in my study. Being so cold made me think what it must have been like 200 years ago in most houses. My son said I could have kept busy, and warm, by spring cleaning the house. Instead I huddled in several layers of woolly clothes - hot water bottle tucked under my jumper and felt very hardly done by indeed.
It made me think about how people managed before the wonder of central heating arrived - then I recalled having been obliged to scrape the ice of the inside of my bedroom window when I was a child, and of taking my vest and pants into bed with me in the morning and getting dressed under the covers. It's strange how quickly one forgets these things.
Today the oil arrived and life will return to normal - but being warm is not something I shall take for granted any more.
In spite of the Arctic conditions both inside and outside my home, I still continued to work. I now have an agent, Kate Nash, to look after my projects. At the moment she has two Regency romantic suspense, a Jane Austen retelling and a Victorian saga to find homes for. I'll let you know what happens to them. I can't tell you the relief it is to be able to send off a manuscript and then forget all about it, leaving the hassle and worry to Kate.
The Ghosts at Neddingfield Hall- out now- 9780709087901 Robert Hale. Available from Amazon and all good bookshops. Don't forget you can order all my books from your local library in the UK.
Fenella Miller


Jane Odiwe said...

I can really sympathise, Fenella. A few weeks ago I had a similar experience when my boiler failed. I did think about the poor maids who had to keep the fires lit - at least I had some coal, and I do love a coal fire - but after a day or so of cleaning out the fire, I completely lost any interest I had in recreating life from the past.

I hope you are warm now!

Anonymous said...

Nothing like doing the hands on research, eh? Hope everything's back to normal now. Just think, though -- you did have the electric heaters. So imagine how miserable it must have been without them! No wonder people died of colds and putrid throats!

Fenella J Miller said...

Fully restored and 21st century - but I like my open fire, and don't mind cleaning it out.