Kit Domino: The Multi-talented Author is my Guest
I am delighted to welcome Kit Domino to my blog with her Guest Post.
Let’s see what she has to tell us all about herself:
I grew up in 1950s/60s London, as the pop music industry began to take off. Having older siblings, a German mother who played the accordion and harmonica, my father the piano (admittedly badly!), a nightclub-singing uncle, another who ran the local youth club where dancing ruled, and marrying a semi-professional disc jockey (but that’s a story for another day or book), music has shaped my life and influenced much of my writing. I moved to Gloucestershire in the 1970s, where I met and later married my second husband, whom I’m still head over heels in love with, even after 46 years.
Throughout my working career, the mainstay has been writing and the production of books. From creating reports and articles, editing and proofreading for various companies, to running my own word-processing business involved with institutions such as the OUP, the EU, and the Radcliffe Hospital, handling scientific and medical journals, historical and reference works, and novels in various languages. In later years, I set up a small independent publishing house, helping new authors set out on their publishing career, some of whom have gone on to higher success and acclaim.
It was during this time I started to write poetry, winning several local and national competitions, and published in numerous anthologies. I now concentrate solely on my own novels. I also regularly write articles on a variety of subjects including books, food, and gardening on my blog/website Kit Domino’s World, and am a monthly contributor on the American blogsite Over the Backyard Fence. When words fail me, as they sometimes do, I also like to paint, never expecting when I first started that this hobby would lead to international sales, three successful exhibitions, commissioned works, and teaching art classes.
When a Minor Character Becomes the Lead
Writers and authors often liken their writing to being on a journey. Indeed, most stories are one when we consider the planning, preparation, and amount of research undertaken before the start. Once embarked on the writing process itself, various routes and paths are then taken – some planned, others creating diversions – before finally reaching the destination and a satisfactory ending. Some of those detours can lead to unexpected and exciting discoveries, such as I found after writing my novel White Stones. It started last year following its publication.
For me, White Stones was to be a one-off story. One full of mystery, a little romance, a woman haunted by a piece of music and an element of time-slipping. When the book reached its final paragraph, the main characters had had their stories told. The End. However, once reviews and comments came in, I realised there was one person in that novel whose story was incomplete: that of Filton Shields. A minor character, he played a part in the book reaching its conclusion but my readers wanted to know much more about him. Many suggested, nay pleaded with me to write a series involving him. It seemed Filton Shields had become such a fascinating character he had, for them, become the main focus of the story.
And here came the conundrum. My next novel was already complete: a timeslip set in Greece entitled When Two Worlds Collide. The story centres on Fliss, recently settled on one of its islands, fulfilling her dream of starting a new life there, but the dream soon turns into a nightmare when she finds herself slipping back to Ancient Greece. Each slip heralds more and more dangerous situations, her life under threat in both worlds. Scheduled for editing with publication planned for late 2020, how on earth could I bring in a new character at this late stage, let alone make him the lead?
As one always willing to accept a challenge, I set out to do just that. At first, writing him in was easy but as this major detour progressed, I found it more and more difficult to weave Filton’s specialist persona along with his history, thoughts, perceptions, reactions and desires into a story already written. An archaeologist by profession, he much prefers solving mysteries and unexplained phenomena, be it UFOs, unusual lights, strange creatures, people or things disappearing, and hauntings. He believes every strange occurrence has a logical, rational and reasoned answer, and thus far he’s never been wrong, so how could he come up with a scientific interpretation for time travel. I couldn’t make it work, and it certainly wasn’t for the want of trying. Finding no resolution, I stripped him out again.
Many sleepless nights followed, and days spent trying to figure out the right road to take. The answer came during a brainstorming Zoom meeting with a friend who knew where I was coming from and where I needed to be. Perfect! (Thank you, Faye.) So Filton Shields was once again wending his way into Fliss’s story.
At the moment, I am still travelling on this long and winding road. It is not the journey I had planned. Nor am I at the end yet, for there are still problems to solve along the way before reaching my required stop. There are scene shifts to make, reordering of events to sort out. Dialogue characters altered. Pages and pages of rewriting, new writing inserted. But Filton and I are getting there, despite its bad moments, especially those of self-doubt we writers all experience at one stage or another. At times frustrating, annoying, even some hair-pulling but I am enjoying the ride and will not give up on him. I can’t, because having committed myself thus far, along with the extra hours delving into research and the science of time, Filton Shields is determined to have this episode of his story released in Spring 2021, with another partially written unexplained phenomenon waiting to be resolved. Who knows where that journey may take him? Or me.
Extract from When Two Worlds Collide
“Sit down,” Filton ordered. “I’ve something to tell you all before you disappear.” He could see worried faces looking from one student to the other, each no doubt wondering what he was about to announce
“You’ve got a hot date tonight?” Adam ventured, half-joking.
The rest of the students laughed.
“Ha ha, very funny,” Filton said. “And if I did, do you honestly think I’d be telling you lot?”
“Nah.” Chris looked around at his fellow dig-mates. “Bet he’s changed his mind about us having this afternoon off. Bet he wants us to completely excavate those bones you found this morning, Jax.”
A groan went up.
“You haven’t, have you, Prof? Only Emily and I fancy going into Liminia and do some shopping.”
Filton shook his head. “No, Paula, nothing like that. What I want to tell you is that this is the last dig we’ll be doing on the island.”
“What! Even after today’s discovery? But surely there’s likelihood now there’s more here?”
“Sorry, Duncan, I know you’re all disappointed but there comes a time when you have to know when to call it a day. And no, I don’t think there are any more graves in old Sotirus. Today’s a one-off. Trust me.”
“The Prof’s right, gang,” Stefan said. “And believe me, he’s given a lot of thought to this. We both have.”
Sensing and gauging their disappointment, Filton took a large swig of water. “Don’t worry, there’ll be other digs. Other sites. Other islands to explore.”
“Yeah, but they won’t be as good as this place,” mumbled Duncan, head down.
“Right, are we all finished eating? Then I suggest you make the best of it.”
Without the usual jovial banter between them, the students began to leave the table, chairs noisily scraping on the flagstones as they headed back to the kitchen with their plates and the dining paraphernalia. Downhearted, long faces, shaking heads and shrugged shoulders left him and Stefan alone at the table.
“Oh, by the way, don’t forget Sophia’s making souvlaki for supper tonight,” Filton called after them.
Chris, last in the file leaving the patio, turned and gave him a half-smile. “Brill. She makes the best in Greece. I’ll tell the others.”
Stefan waited until Chris and the rest were well out of earshot. “So, what’s the real reason you do it, Fil?”
“Why do you come back here year after year?
“Because I love the digging. It’s in my blood.”
“Fool, I don’t mean the archaeology. I mean, why here? This place? This house? You know it hurts you.”
“It’s my home, Stef. It’s where I belong. I grew up here, remember?”
“Are you sure it’s not for other reasons?”
“You know what I’m getting at.”
Silence followed whilst Filton went over in his mind whether or not to tell Stefan what he was planning. Should he keep quiet? Wait until he had all his plans in place? Or wait at least until he’d told the university? Either way, he knew Stefan would try and talk him out of it. After all, it was a monumental decision. A huge one.
Thank you, Jane, for inviting me as a guest on your blog. I appreciate the opportunity to talk a little about my current work.
Kit, it has been a pleasure to get to know more about you. I wish you continued success with all your endeavours. Thanks for being such an interesting guest.
For information about Kit’s writing and links see below:
Kit Domino’s World: https://kitdomino.com/
Kit’s Garden: https://kitsgarden.com/
Kit’s Kitchen: https://kitscooking.org/
Kit Domino Art: https://kitdominoart.com/
Over The Backyard Fence: https://llblog2010.wordpress.com/author/kitdomino/
White Stones: https://bit.ly/38WHl0Z
Every Step of the Way: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B007ST58CG
Published in 2019, White Stones follows the strange forces at work causing Penny Cornwall to see and hear people from a past that is not her own. More disconcerting is the tune she hears playing over and over inside the idyllic Cotswold cottage she shares with Harry. Eager to find its source, her quest rapidly becomes an obsession, taking over her life and threatening to destroy everything she holds dear.
Available worldwide in paperback and e-book formats.
Every Step of the Way
Shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Prize for a London novel, Every Step of the Way tells the story of a London family coping in the aftermath of the 1953 Great Smog that swept across the capital. Full of austerity and social history of that era including the birth of the pop charts, gang fights, and coffee bars, this heart-breaking but heart-warming story is written against the sometimes harsh and dramatic backdrop of an England emerging from the Second World War.