Bees in my Bonnet is not about bees, although I have a great sympathy for their current problems with insecticides, but a collection of short stories, some are historical, but instead of hiding them away, I thought it a good idea to give them an airing – some of them at least. The first is a bit of a love story and has the title Jewel Thief.
Short stories are never really easy to write. There isn’t space to develop plot lines, yet they need to be crammed with story, and the descriptions have to be short yet full, like P.G. Wodehouse’s – he looked as if he’d been stuffed by and incompetent taxidermist – or already half-hidden in a name, like Tam McTavish, that draws a picture in the reader’s mind. I thought I had a good one for a competition. It was about a woman downsizing but it doesn’t have enough legs to get it to the necessary word count and I’ve found that trying to stretch it out only damages the impact.
As regards short stories for the Stuarts, there is an escape from an island prison, organised by a Douglas, that would make a good start, followed by the Gowrie kidnap attempt and maybe another tale to lay the foundation of a family duplicity. One of the attractions is the complex character in each of the Stuart generations and the forgotten experiences of their adherents – like the Scotsman’s Island in the Rhine.