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Some of you will know that I’ve written a fourth novel – working title Acts of Rebellion – set in 1870s Paris. It was an incredible experience researching that period of time in French history and I know I’ve shared various photos and other bits here and on social media. However, as it turns out, my publisher wasn’t keen on a novel set in that time period and so the work I did for most of a year is sitting on the shelf (a digital shelf, that is) while my agent decides on next steps. A few tears have been shed.

But as the song says … pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again.

In the months that followed I developed an idea for another novel, this one contemporary and set in Hong Kong. My editor thought that might work but after seeing the synopsis, recommended that I weave a dual timeline into the story in order to maintain a historical flavour.

Hmmm. Not exactly what I wanted to hear. And not exactly a straightforward request either.

Fortunately, I’d written something in the first few chapters of this Hong Kong novel that sparked an idea.

“A few drops of white blood entered the family when her great-grandfather had an affair with the wife of a British official and, to avoid a scandal that would have ruined the woman, raised the baby as his.”

And now, I’ve just completed a draft outline of a new dual-timeline story. Amazing what one sentence can spark.

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M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.