John Watkins Hyatt - Writer of literary fiction living in South Australia. Currently serving a selection of light tales in a retro setting, garnished with a little crime, and embellished with a touch of humour.
My three novels, each a stand-alone story, are set a few decades in the past. I aim, with realism, to give a view of the world during the war years, the 1950s and 1960s, and to reveal the social and other constraints imposed on my characters during these periods. From our modern point of view, and knowing the state of the world during these times, we can therefore try to predict to some extent the outcomes for the characters portrayed. For example, Making it in Balham is set in London during the late 1950s. Rightly or wrongly, this was a time of great optimism, with financial growth and major development and slum clearances occurring in London and elsewhere. These changes, not always welcomed, caused many people to regret these so-called improvements.
At a deeper level, all my novels deal to some extent with the concept of ambition.
Making it in Balham, set in 1958, portrays Agnes Bracken: ambitious and seeking her goals ruthlessly. She achieves success step by step; but not without some obstacles along the way.
In Doctor Mulecannary, my protagonist George Bradstock works in a humble occupation and it is his wife who is ambitious; she wants her husband to 'advance' with the aim of making more money. She drives him into making decisions that have a profound effect upon the family.
My third novel concerns a young man leaving school in the late 1960s. He becomes immersed in a workplace that has little regard for the health and safety of the employees, and is not therefore a particularly welcoming place for the young school-leaver. Despite these hurdles, my protagonist Terence Thimble still battles through the first few months in his new job with some success. The work assigned to him is not what he expects, but he continues with the firm as all the time he thinks a change for the better is shortly to happen.
Further work in progress includes a sequel to Making it in Balham - Agnes Aspires.... This novel set in 1960, follows the progress of Agnes, along with her extraordinary companion Inga, in Agnes's determined quest for money and recognition.
A new novel called Spies in Battalions is in the planning stage and centres around a family living in wartime London. My elderly protagonist, Elizabeth Little, uses the war to settle old scores with people she dislikes, and this has unforeseen consequences.