Roy Dimond lives in Pender Harbour, a serene coastal village along the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. From his log home overlooking the ocean, Roy and his wife Lorraine spend their days hiking around the surrounding lakes and forest. Before writing his first novel, The Singing Bowl, Roy was a Youth Worker in the education system. Since retiring, he has traveled the world.
D.O: Thank you for joining us today, Roy and welcome back on Authors’ Curtilage. We are glad to have you.
R.D: Wonderful to be back and thank you.
D.O: We are going to talk about some things that might interest your potential readers and I’m going to start with the research of your work, Silence and Circumstance. “The letter went on to say he would be meeting someone with rather astonishing name of, Abd al-Aziz ibn Saud in a country that was soon going to be known as Saudi Arabia!” These lines show how much research you did for this project. I’m impressed. How much time did you actually take to do research for the novel, ‘Silence and Circumstance?’
R.D: I did extensive research for this fictional story. Considering the subject matter, the 11 days that Agatha Christie went missing in December 1926, the story line demanded it. Fortunately, I love research and I hopefully end up learning as much as my readers do.
D.O: Briefly explain the mysterious content of the letter that changed the role of Charlotte from governess with the Christie to a confidant.
R.D: Ah yes, the letter that begins the adventure, with the words that are, "thick and sort of pawed onto the paper. Clearly a man's writing…"Agatha Christie finds herself in the uncomfortable position of asking her governess Charlotte 'Carlo' Fisher to help her with a mystery that comes in the form of this letter. This changes their relationship at a fundamental level, as Mrs. Christie is not a person who is used to asking for help. It is the exact moment when their relationship changes from professional to friend.
D.O: Tell us briefly, the dangers involved in meeting Moe Berg and why Mr. Christie forbids his wife from meeting him.
R.D: Because the Christie marriage at that time was not on solid ground. Mr. Christie had no interest in, 'allowing' his wife to travel from their home in Sunningdale, Berkshire to London. Despite the letter being signed, "Urgent… Your Empire and I need you."
D.O: Who is Moe Berg?
R.D: An excellent question. I hope my readers take some time to look deeper into this fascinating man. As with all the characters in the story he really existed. He was a baseball player, quite good actually, who may have been a spy for the United States. He spoke several languages and stood out from his fellow ballplayers because he was well read. He traveled the world with such players as Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb and may have used these travels to share information with the American government on countries like Japan.
D.O: Mr. Peter, the mischievous dog, [SMILES] I sure love him. Does he give the story a forward momentum in any way?
R.D: Ha! Peter the Beast, as Charlotte calls him. Rosalind, Agatha's daughter loved the "floppy eared terrier" but unfortunately, Peter's relationship with the governess was somewhat fraught with confrontation. I thought his hijinks with the Charlotte would add a little humor and I did get a chuckle writing those scenes.
D.O: His participation was really funny. You did well on the humor. "I closed my eyes and rested while my imaginations continued floating about. I pondered if the characters in Mrs. Christie’s manuscripts knew who was about to be killed off even before the author, their protests and accusations only half formed sentences muffled in the author’s head." For me as a reader, these lines created emotion. It brewed suspense and fear. It made me guess that there is going to be a crime in the novel ‘Silence and Circumstance.’ It made me ask the question, is Charlotte going to lose her life to the journey she’s embarking on? And that brings me to ask you Roy, does ‘Silence and Circumstance,’ have a crime genre?
R.D: In the big picture, absolutely. But the crime is grand and something that humanity must constantly be vigilant against. Something that I personally love about Silence and Circumstance is that the real story isn't just about the 11 days that Agatha Christie went missing in 1926. It is about the serious problems that humanity faced then and still does to this very day. If you changed my characters and took them out of 1926 they would fit comfortably into today's world and today's problems. I do hope that I was able to get that across to my readers. The deeper story is as vibrant today as those 11 days that Agatha went missing.
D.O: O.K. I am intrigued with Charlotte’s decision to go and meet Moe Berg in place of her employer, the star of English Literature, not minding if the meeting might be her last on earth. How does she grow and develop in the story.
R.D: That was one of the truly inspiring things about writing and creating this character. I think the reader will see how Charlotte grows from being a rather insecure governess, to a woman with her own values and a mind of her own. She travels from the backyard of the Christie estate, to Paris, and from there has a grand adventure on the continent. In 1926, many young British women did the same during, "the season" but as Mrs. Christie says, "Those women with vacant eyes," hardly experienced the rich and deep adventure that comes with risk and Charlotte does risk everything. As with most of us with risk comes growth so we watch Charlotte Fisher evolve into a woman who sees that there are other cultures besides the rigid class structure of England. Liberal thinking and lifestyle brings with it adventure for a young woman that was unimagined by the strict rules of British society.
D.O: Briefly, tell your potential readers more about, Silence and Circumstance.
R.D: In the opening page, I list a number of characters with a short description of who they are, relevant to 1926. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Dorothy Sayers are examples, as they actually did participate in the search for Mrs. Christie. I was pleased to see that my publisher, Untreed Reads did an, "Order of Appearance" page as a nod to the great writer herself. Agatha often began her books in this manner, with a list of characters. It was just my way of showing respect to Mrs. Christie.
D.O: What’s your reason for writing this novel?
R.D: Now this is a truly great question. I often think that author's don't get asked this enough. This story isn't just about the 11 days that Agatha Christie went missing, as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle says in my story and one of my favorite lines… "It's about the timelessness of tyrants." You see, there were tyrants on the rise in 1926 and there are still tyrants today. Tyrants of the one percent, tyrants of religion, and of course political tyrants, so the story should resonate not just as an interesting read on a hopefully fascinating subject, but it should be read for our times, and sadly for times to come.
D.O: Hmm. Intriguing! Did you intend to write a short story, or did you start out writing ‘Silence and Circumstance,’ as a novel?
R.D:No, Silence and Circumstance was always a novel. Although Agatha wrote many incredible short stories I wanted an homage to Mrs. Christie and that, for me, could only be in a novel.
D.O: O.K. What is the best way for a new writer to get into the business of writing?
R.D: By writing, and never accepting the great river of, "No" that they have chosen to swim in. Most rejection letters from publishers and agents are because they're already full or looking for only one specific type of book. Writer's write and as long as you continue to write you belong to a wonderful clan.
D.O: What’s next on your plan?
R.D: Well my agent, Malaga Baldi is hot on the trail of a movie deal for Silence and Circumstance and hopefully if it does well my sequel entitled, Rendezvous at Carchemish gets picked up.
D.O: Do you have any final thoughts to share with us?
R.D: Just a very big thank you for taking the time to interview me and hopefully we will do many more of these. Thank you for such wonderful and thought provoking questions.
D.O: [SMILES] I'm blushing. Thank you Roy.
R.D: You are welcome.
D.O: Hey people, the overall idea of the novel, ‘Silence and Circumstance’ is very interesting. It’s a good story that has been told clearly, free of any inconsistencies or ambiguities. It’s one of the best stories around. Pick your very own copy at buy links supplied at the end of the interview. Once again Roy thanks for joining us today.
R.D: Just so your readers know the best place to buy it, meaning least expensive :) is probably from the publisher directly. http://www.untreedreads.com/ Right now they are having a 30% sale and if you purchase the paperback you get the e book free. And again, thank you to you and your readers, your time is greatly appreciated.
Silence and Circumstance will be running a one-day sale on Wednesday, April 15th, on OminiLit.com
Purchase your copy of Silence and Circumstance from the following links:
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