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Showing posts from September, 2011

Characters

I've got a new book coming out next month (shameless plug - it's called No Escape, buy it) and part of the fun of editing it is getting to know the characters again - I haven't read the book for a couple of years. I may have invented Michael Boyd, the straightforward New York cop with misplaced trust in his wife and a difficult relationship with his brother, and Catrin Pritchard, the prickly and protective single mum, but in the course of creating them I got to know them, and now I feel as though I'm reuniting with old friends. Until the death of my hard disk a couple of weeks ago I had on my computer the floorplan of Catrin's seaside cottage, her university exam timetable, and a timeline for Michael from his birth to the end of his secondment in Wales.

Although writers mostly work alone in a darkened room hunched over a computer, I have never really felt that I was in this endeavour on my own. Working with characters feels like working with people. And I get quite…

Chocolate Book Review no. 3: Climbing Family Trees by Trina Boice

OK, so the book is actually called "Climbing Family Trees: Whispers in the Leaves" and it's by both Trina Boice and Tracey Long, but that would be an absurdly long title for a blog post.

I've been reading fiction books for my chocolate reviews up until now, so I thought this would make a nice change - and it did. I loved it. I'm not involved in genealogy at the moment (too busy with my descendants to have time for my ancestors) but did have a brief foray into it before the kids came along, and I know how exciting and addictive it can be. I went to St. Catherine's House in London with my Dad and pored over the records of Births, Marriages and Deaths, and we also went to Heveningham in Suffolk where we found the graves of many ancestors in the parish churchyard. It's exciting and fun, and I'm looking forward to having the time to get stuck in again.

And when I do, you can bet that this is absolutely the book I want guiding me. There's a real risk wi…