Semi-fictional dates

Today is 21st October, CE, or for the more old-fashioned, Anno Domini.

Our years are counted from someone long ago’s approximation of the date Jesus Christ was born.

(Tom Holland’s interesting novel “Olympiad” traces modern dating back via the birth of Jesus and the founding of Rome to the legendary first Olympic Games, and writes the story of the build-up to that event.)

On my fictional continent of Ragaris, it would be not AD, or CE, but AL.  “AL” means “After Landing”, because on Ragaris they date time from the arrival on their shores of a party of foreigners (Irish, I believe –the Irish were great sailors in the Dark Ages) who introduced them to Christianity.

My story (ignoring the issue of Julian and Gregorian calendars) begins on 1st October 570 AL.  This is not of course the same as 570 AD – the events probably take place somewhere in our twelfth or thirteenth century.

But 21st October, on the other hand…

The story “We Do Not Kill Children” has a fairly short and precise timeline.  It starts (1st October) with a murder trial, and ends (15th November) with an execution.  There is an epilogue at Christmas.

During the novel, the characters are widely dispersed through the country, so I had to make a careful chart of what was happening when.

21st October 570 AL is a pretty dramatic day according to this chart, on which two important plot events take place.

The day before, character A, who has been living in hiding, has been exposed, captured and threatened with future torture.  The small hours of 21st October are when he kills a few people, interrogates a prisoner, and effects his escape with a mysterious companion.

Later that day, many miles away, a long-delayed letter is finally delivered to the capital city.  One of the villain’s lackeys tries to intercept it, but is foiled by two children.

I managed to arrange the story’s climax for Hallowe’en.

Last year (2015) I had a lot of fun following my novel in “real time”, in this way.  This year I’m too busy.

Anyway… kindly readers… you’ve reached this far in the post, and now the horrible truth dawns.

You’ve basically been reading an ADVERT.

(Book planned to come out on 14th November, the day before the story ends…)

Love from the PPI and Self-Promoting Blogger

  • Malachi Malagowther

    21st October 2016 at 6:04 pm Reply

    I thought that the story didn’t end on the 15th Nov. or even the following Christmas as some of the characters will reappear in the equally exciting sequel which I haven’t read in it’s final form yet. There is an execution on the 15th Nov. which is the end of that character in the first book but his squire will go on to greater things in the sequel and we learn about what happened to some of the other major characters. The third book in the series is still in embryonic form – I’ve only seen the name of two of the characters and I wasn’t even supposed to see that much. However it is shaping up to be a ripping good yarn and I can’t wait to see the first one in print.

  • Penelope Wallace

    21st October 2016 at 7:30 pm Reply

    I think some of this is a bit misleading, but thank you for the plug, Malachi!

  • Judith Renton

    22nd October 2016 at 10:04 pm Reply

    Ha ha, you rascal!
    Looking forward to holding a real copy of your book.

  • Clint Redwood

    23rd November 2017 at 6:31 pm Reply

    Have you re-worked it enough to be worth re-reading from the early draft?

    I personally enjoyed Tenth Province a little more than WDNKC, but don’t let that put anyone off reading that too…!

    • Penelope Wallace

      24th November 2017 at 4:50 pm Reply

      Hi, Clint! Are you trying to be persuaded to buy a copy of Tenth Province? I suspect it hasn’t changed a lot from when you read it – Malachi read an earlier version. Still working on number 3.

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