01-05-2010 10:47 AM
Is it as cold where you are as it is here? We're thinking of sending Rutledge to a WARM climate, so we can spend the winter months there with him.
We're busy promoting THE RED DOOR and writing the next Rutledge, so it is probably safer to be in a warm room than being tempted away from duty to a warm beach. But let's try some temptation...
Becke, we're having trouble reading incoming messages from other bloggers. Can you help us with that? We couldn't sign in as Charles Todd either, and I don't know how to reach you. You'll have our e-mail address.
Meanwhile, let's talk about writing. It takes a lot of time and concentration and discipline. That's hard at first, but then as you get into the story, it envelops you. Almost like an addiction--you just have to get back to it. Or it should feel like that. If it doesn't, that should be a warning sign: it's time to rethink what you're writing. Charles and I have to work in different rooms even in the same house, and that's the reason why--you want that sense of being there, of walking with Rutledge through a village or a crime scene or questioning a suspect. That's when you begin to see and hear and smell and touch your surroundings. It's almost like watching a movie that draws you in so completely you can't see the TV any longer. Yes, there are words on the computer screen, but they aren't what's in your head. You can go back later and clean up the typos, what's important is to capture the moment. When you finish a scene, it's like coming up for air, you move out of that world into the present world and have to take a second or two to catch up. You begin to look forward to going back, almost in the same breath.
We have two interviews set for tomorrow, so we're trying to get ready for those. And we have more books from bookstores, sent for signing. I'll try to get back here, and by that time may be able to reply to your comments.
01-05-2010 01:23 PM
Hopefully your sign in name will be corrected asap -- it should change to Charles_Todd soon. Email me at: Treethyme@aol.com if you need help with anything.
Sometimes the commenters can be pretty quiet here, but over 500 people have viewed this thread so it's not going unnoticed. I'll pass on your comments to my supervisors in case there is a technical problem.
It's freezing here in Cincinnati, and we have a few inches of snow on the ground. I think it's probably milder here than in your neck of the woods, though. From what I see on the weather reports, it seems as if the whole northern hemisphere is freezing right now!
I'm curious about your process, with two of you writing the stories. Does one of you do the plotting, or do you work together on story ideas? Do you write different characters, or alternate chapters? I think if I wrote with someone else we'd end up wanting to throw things at each other. How do you two keep your relationship on an even keel while you're working on a book?
01-06-2010 11:40 PM - edited 01-06-2010 11:41 PM
Hello Caroline and Charles (and Becke too!). Your series sounded so intriguing to me so I downloaded the first book on my new e-reader and loved it. Unfortunately the second book wasn't available as an e book so I'll have to go buy a copy. I'm not surprised that I loved the book since I'm also a big fan of Elizabeth George and PD James. I came away with such a sadness for what Rutledge was going through especially during those times when public perception considered this a moral weakness. It brought back memories of when I was in high school (late 70's) and I did some volunteer work at an outpatient mental health facility. There were so many Viet Nam vets whose lives were forever changed by PTSD and drug abuse. Anyway I look forward to continuing on in the series!
Oh and by the way it is beautiful here in Southern California! I had my flip flops on all day!
01-07-2010 11:47 AM
Linda -- Rub it in, why don't you? I'm looking out my window at white, white, white. There are snow days at all the local schools, and no sign of the snow letting up. I was going to go to the post office, but I think it's going to have to wait.
Now to the book -- isn't it wonderful? The first one made me want to cry. I have always been drawn to WWI stories because of my grandfather's involvement, but this series makes it all come to life in a way I hadn't read before. I think so many people continue to follow the series because the emotional connection is so strong.
01-09-2010 10:57 PM
01-11-2010 12:38 AM
From the New York Times Book Review, January 10, 2010: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/books/review/Cri
Twelve books into a series of mysteries set in England in the aftermath of World War I, the mother and son who team-write under the name of Charles Todd keep finding new ways to gauge the emotional effects of war on the living and the half-dead.
The story behind THE RED DOOR (Morrow/HarperCollins, $24.99) is so sad, the book should come with a warning sticker. It begins in Hobson, a village in Lancashire, on the day after the Armistice is signed — at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of the year 1918 — when Florence Teller hits on a suitable gesture to welcome her husband home from the war, painting the gray front door of their house “a vibrant and glorious red.”
Two years later, Inspector Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard arrives at that same front door, now faded to a dull rose, to investigate Florence’s murder. Sensitized by his traumatic experiences in battle, this compassionate detective makes his way through the house, gathering evidence of a solitary life defined by constant loneliness and sudden, sharp loss: of the beloved son who died young, the aged aunt, the pets buried in the garden. Yet none of these losses were more keenly felt than that of Peter Teller, the soldier-husband who rarely came home between postings and vanished after the Armistice.
Meanwhile, another Teller — the well-known missionary Walter Teller — has gone missing from a London clinic, causing Rutledge to broaden his inquiries. The Teller family claims no knowledge of any relatives in Lancashire. But Walter’s brother, Peter, was an army officer before being invalided out of service; and for some reason, the eldest brother, Edwin, insists on attending Florence Teller’s funeral. Could one of these brothers, each of them married, be the man who deserted her?
With the Teller clan closing ranks against him, Rutledge finds himself spending more time in the country, where reminders of the war are sharp and stark. (Standing alone in the quiet dark, “he could still hear the guns in France, distantly echoing in his mind.”)
Pausing at the Great War Memorial, he pays his respects to the village boys — entire families of them — who went off together to fight and die on foreign soil. The theme of fathers and sons torn from their families is a persistent one in Todd’s novels. This time, though, the image of that red door also reminds us of the women who stood waiting for the men who went away.
01-13-2010 09:18 AM
I just finished THE RED DOOR, I started it yesterday and stayed up all night to finish it. Once you start it you will not be able to put it down. I love Todd because you never know till the end who done it.
01-13-2010 01:05 PM
01-20-2010 07:03 PM
01-21-2010 10:34 PM
Here's some info about the latest Charles Todd series:
From the brilliantly imaginative New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd comes an unforgettable new character in an exceptional new series
England, 1916. Independent-minded Bess Crawford’s upbringing is far different from that of the usual upper-middle-class British gentlewoman. Growing up in India, she learned the importance of responsibility, honor, and duty from her officer father. At the outbreak of World War I, she followed in his footsteps and volunteered for the nursing corps, serving from the battlefields of France to the doomed hospital ship Britannic.
On one voyage, Bess grows fond of the young, gravely wounded Lieutenant Arthur Graham. Something rests heavily on his conscience, and to give him a little peace as he dies, she promises to deliver a message to his brother. It is some months before she can carry out this duty, and when she’s next in England, she herself is recovering from a wound.
When Bess arrives at the Graham house in Kent, Jonathan Graham listens to his brother’s last wishes with surprising indifference. Neither his mother nor his brother Timothy seems to think it has any significance. Unsettled by this, Bess is about to take her leave when sudden tragedy envelops her. She quickly discovers that fulfilling this duty to the dead has thrust her into a maelstrom of intrigue
01-30-2010 01:53 PM - edited 01-30-2010 01:54 PM
My husband and I were talking about the Rutledge series this morning. (He hasn't read any of the books -- I'm always trying to turn him on to fiction, but he resists my persuasion for the most part.) I've followed the series for years and we've talked about the books and the era they are set in many times before.
I think WWI is an intriguing era because it leveled the playing field of the British class structure in many ways. Everyone who lived through it was traumatized in some way, if not wounded or killed. When I moved to England in the 1970s, it was still common to see survivors of the Great War with their appalling wounds.
The concept of having the eldest son manage the estate while sending the second son to be a soldier and the third to enter the clergy was fairly common among the gentried classes, I believe, when England was still considered part of the British Empire and not just the British Isles. There was so much upheaval during and after the war -- in many ways, I think life in Britain changed forever after the one-two punch of the war and the devastating influenza epidemic.
The Rutledge books always make me think of Vera Brittain's Testament of Youth and Testament of Experience, both very powerful tales of the same era.
I've heard that this series is extremely popular with Viet Nam and it's easy to see why. I think veterans of any war -- and their families -- would strongly relate to the traumas shape the characters in these books.
01-31-2010 01:42 PM
Caroline had some problems posting comments, but you can find her responses at the "Mrs. Miniver" posts here.
I'm sorry about the glitches, Caroline, and I appreciate your efforts to join us in what I know was a very busy month.
I hope our viewers discover this wonderful series as well as the new Charles Todd series. Both are well worth reading.
Thanks again for making our January Extravaganza a special event!
08-11-2010 01:57 PM
New York Times bestseller Charles Todd returns with a riveting novel that explores the ravages of war, murder and lust
SEPTEMBER INDIE NEXT PICK!!!
An Impartial Witness (Bess Crawford Series #2)
“In addition to supplying a challenging puzzle, Todd does a superb job of capturing the feel of the battlefield and the emotional toll taken on those waiting back home for a loved one’s return.” —Starred Publishers Weekly review
“Todd—the pen name of a mother-and-son writing team—turns in another winning performance with a smartly plotted, well-told mystery. The Crawford novels are a nice change of pace from the heavier Inspector Rutledge books, and fans of mysteries featuring strong, appealing heroines will certainly embrace this one.” —Booklist
“Readers will enjoy Todd’s plucky, determined sleuth and a thrilling mystery that proves murders on the home front don’t stop just because there’s a war.” –Library Journal
After 11 books in the acclaimed, post WWI Rutledge series, Charles Todd launched a new series last year with A Duty to the Dead featuring Bess Crawford, a courageous young nurse serving overseas during the Great War.
Reviewers embraced the new series with open arms:
“Like the Inspector Rutledge books, A Duty to the Dead is a compelling story, a complex mystery and a revealing look deep into human nature,” (Winston Salem Journal)
“…A Duty to the Dead features sharp, convincing dialogue and a degree of psychological complexity seldom encountered in routine mysteries,” (Wilmington Star News)
“Todd’s novels are known for compelling plotting with a thoughtful whodunit aspect, rich characterization, evocative prose and haunting atmosphere, and A Duty to the Dead excels at each.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Now, Bess returns with a new mystery in AN IMPARTIAL WITNESS (William Morrow, On Sale: 8/31/2010, ISBN 13: 9780061791789, $24.99). Serving in the wound in France during the First World War, battlefield nurse Bess Crawford is sent back to England in the early summer of 1917 with a convoy of severely burned men. One of her patients, a young pilot, has clung to a photograph of his wife ever since his plane went down, and Bess sees the photo every time she tends to him. After the patients are transferred to a clinic in Hampshire, Bess is given 48 hours of leave and plans to return to her flat in London to catch up on some much-needed sleep. But at the railway station there, in a mob of troops leaving for the front, Bess catches a glimpse of a familiar face—the pilot’s wife. She is bidding a very emotional farewell to a different soldier.
TOUR CITIES INCLUDE: Wilmington, DE; St. Louis; MO, Kansas City, KS; Iowa City, IA, Lincoln, NE, Omaha, NE
08-11-2010 04:19 PM
This series looks good - I'll have to check it out.
08-11-2010 04:28 PM