Tuesday, 10 March 2015

My new Swiss Misses

I'm working on a new series!

Sadly, it won't be set in Brugel. It will be set in Switzerland, in an old-fashioned finishing school that has to modernise or perish.

The books will be a series of linked stories, so they don't have to be read in order. The characters are already competing for my attention (as they do), and Marina is winning so far. She's American, (Mom's American, Dad is Russian. He defected in 1990, a year before the Soviet Union collapsed.)

What I'm loving so far is exploring the idea of 'connection'. Marina's story begins with her losing all contact with her legion of fans via the loss of her phone. She's surrounded by new people but she's so lonely!

Another character, Gabby, has come to Switzerland to deliberately hide away from the world.

'Miss Beatrice' who runs the Swiss school, is reaching out to the world and desperately trying to make new connections to keep the business from going under.

By the way, finishing schools aren't just for a Swiss Miss. You might be tempted to attend a real one - for a day class or a whole week! Or an intensive six-week course that will set you back about $20,000!

As tempting as this sounds, my kind of 'school' would be a writers' retreat. Any location is fine - in fact, it doesn't really matter where it is as long as I have a place to write. Being away from home, even for a couple of days, is a brilliant way to focus on the latest writing project. In fact, I wrote the first 5,000 words of Marina's story on a writing weekend. I don't think I've been that productive for years!

What's your ideal 'retreat' or 'school' that you'd love to attend?

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