The love story is a very unusual one, both because of the reversal of the usual ages, because there was such a large gap, and because Rose was aware of her feelings at such a young age. What made you construct it so?
I never really thought of it as particularly unusual. Aren’t all love stories unusual, each one different from the next, an area of life where fact is stranger than fiction, or should be? Anything less, and perhaps it’s not a love story at all? But yes, I guess the love story between Jacob and Rose is not in the conventional style of ‘boy meets girl’ or ‘older man meets younger woman’, even more so given that it’s set in the 1930s and 40s. But Rose is a free spirit and follows her heart – she is human, after all, even if it is the 30s and 40s – and her heart is with Jacob. She doesn’t necessarily know what her feelings for him are when she’s young, but she knows that the feelings are there, and once Jacob is old enough to realise it too, the rest is inevitable. Star-crossed lovers, destined to be together, destined to be apart too.
Now that this book is behind you, do you already have plans for another? If so, what and when?
As mentioned above, I’ve already got another finished manuscript that I wrote before Lost in the Flames. The Art of Waiting is another love story set before, during, and after the Second World War – this time in Venice and Russia. Whether or not it ever sees the light of day will depend on how things go with Lost in the Flames.
Thanks Christopher, for your time in answering all those questions and the best of success for your book..
Tomorrow, on the blog, it will be the turn of Derek J Taylor to answer some questions about his book A Horse in the Bathroom.