With each new year comes a new challenge and for me 2014 brings a return to study.
This does not mean that Rose de Freycinet will be neglected. The planned release of To See the World in April will bring her story to a younger audience for the first time and I will be providing workshops in schools and libraries based on my research and writing of her story. I am also still committed to writing, for adults, an expanded version of Rose’s life and, at the moment, it seems that the best way to achieve this is by making it the subject of a PhD in Creative Writing. Having now written two historical fictions (reimagined histories or whatever you like to call them) I know that, in order to make history accessible to a wide audience, fiction must be allowed to illuminate the known facts. Perhaps, then, Creative Writing is not such a strange title for a PhD course as I first thought.
Then there is the film to think about. The current release of a film version of Marcus Zusac’s The Book Thief, so many years after it was first mooted, gives me a greater sense of the reality that there will, eventually, be a film of Rose’s story too. When he was interviewed recently the producer of The Book Thief said that he loved the book from the moment he first read it, more than ten years ago. The same is true of the producer from Artemis International who has wanted to make a film of Rose’s story since the first time he came across it. That was only three years ago and he has certainly not given up on the idea. We are still in touch quite regularly and I am confident that, one way or another, it will happen.
So, 2014? Bring it on.