As a former museum curator, I know how much effort it takes to keep history alive
so we never forget where we came from. The Camp X Historical Society works every
day to preserve and promote what the women and men like Amelia and Deacon experienced
during the war.
* * *
A favourite new web site to visit is this one, newly created by fellow Mary Stewart
fans. Drop by and take a look.
* * *
One of my favourite series characters would have to be Erle Stanley Gardner’s Perry
Mason. I always liked his sharp intelligence, and how he could manipulate the legal
process without sacrificing justice.
* * *
Strickland Gillilan’s poem The Reading Mother always makes me think of my mother,
and the wonderful worlds to which she introduced me.
* * *
On the subject of spies...
Daniel Craig’s obvious assets notwithstanding, my favourite Bond remains, hands down,
Sean Connery. Visit the Web site he shares with his talented wife at www.seanconnery.com.
* * *
Kate’s favourite city is London, England. So, coincidentally, is mine. One of my
favourite traditions when visiting London? Walking the Embankment in the early evening
by Westminster bridge, to watch the lights come on along the Thames.
After Long Silence
Posted September 2, 2009
That was, by the way, the working title that I used while writing Every Secret Thing:
After Long Silence, from the poem of the same name by W.B. Yeats. I even arranged
for (and paid for) permission to use it, and that’s why the excerpt remains in the
front of the book, since it still suits the story quite well. So it seems rather
fitting that those lines should be turning round in my head once again, now that
I’m getting close to the end of the next Kearsley novel and can finally think of
getting back to being Emma Cole, however briefly.
My original plan, as you may recall, was to give my alter-ego equal time; to write
a Kearsley book, and then a Cole one, then another Kearsley, but the fact is the
thrillers appear to take longer to write, and after working on the sequel for however
many months I’ve had to set it to the side twice now to deal with a new Kearsley
book impatient to be written. When I left the sequel last time, I’d come roughly
halfway through the story. Kate was in a taxi heading down the eastern coastline
of the Greek isle of Lefkada. And I left her there.
A rotten thing to do, I know. And if she never spoke to me again I couldn’t blame
her. That’s always been my fear, those rare occasions when I’ve stopped work on a
story to write something else entirely – the fear that, when I do get back to working
on the first book I’ll discover all the characters have given up on waiting for me
and gone off, and taken my ideas with them, and I’ll never get them back.
So I was very much relieved this week, while lying in my bathtub (where I feel the
most inspired) to hear Kate’s voice speaking up again, if faintly, and to glimpse
a few small bits of scenes from Greece, as though she, too, is keen to get things
Speech, as Yeats said, feels good after long silence.
The following entries are now archived. Click on any one you want to read.
Posted June 27, 2009
Deadlines Part II
Posted April 10, 2009
Posted March 16, 2009
I See Your Face Before Me
Posted February 01, 2009
Atticus was right.
Posted January 01, 2009
Some “Thing” to Consider
Posted November 27, 2008
Time and Chance
Posted October 22, 2008
What Happened Next...
Posted September 19, 2008
What You Give Me
Posted August 20, 2008
In My Own Words
Posted July 31, 2008
Posted June 16, 2008
Posted May 6, 2008
Posted March 31, 2008
Posted February 13, 2008
To Be Continued...
Posted January 13, 2008
A Handful of Time
Posted December 22, 2007
The Best Laid Schemes
Posted October 30, 2007
Tell Me a Story
Posted September 24, 2007
Posted August 30, 2007
Posted July 12, 2007
Reading and Writing
Posted June 24, 2007
Seeing Ghosts in Delphi
Posted May 21, 2007
The Isles of Greece...
Posted April 09, 2007
Erle Stanley Gardner
My bookshelves are full of old Perry Mason books because few writers, then or now,
match Gardner’s skill in depicting American law and the ways an intelligent lawyer
can bend it to best serve his clients. Here’s his Wikipedia page.
Her thriller The File on Devlin is another of my treasured reads, and one I love
to pass along to others. There isn’t much about her on the internet as yet, but the
site Fantastic Fiction does have a brief biography, and shows some of her books.
They’re well worth hunting down.
A talented, clever and principled man who was never afraid to point out that the
emperor didn’t have clothes on. The ending of Player Piano is classic, and Cat’s
Cradle changed my whole view of what fiction could be. Read this tribute to learn
more about how he lived and what he wrote and why he’s a favourite of mine. So it
The fact that she was one of the judges of the prize that launched my own career
made the prize itself more precious to me, and the fact that I met her in person
at the awards luncheon put me over the moon. Among her many thrillers, The Tamarind
Seed remains my favourite, and her series that begins with The Defector, featuring
Davina Graham, gave me inspiration to attempt a series of my own. Here’s an introduction
to her life and work.
I think - I think - I’ve read them all, and likely own them, too. And unlike some
critics, I think she had a rare gift for characterization. Her people are always
very real to me, and some of her plots are beyond brilliant. I have so many favourites
of her books, but The Hollow and Sleeping Murder probably lead the pack. Here’s one
of many good web sites about her.
Anne Armstrong Thompson
Her Message from Absalom remains one of my all-time favourites. She also wrote The
Swiss Legacy and The Romanov Ransom, wonderful thrillers with razor-sharp heroines.
I’m still looking for a biography of her that I can link to, but don’t wait for that
before reading her.
A true master. No one can make me get lost in a book like this woman. If you’ve never
read her, try This Rough Magic or The Moonspinners for starters, and you’ll know
why I’m so keen to take my characters to Greece.
To learn more about the woman and her work, click here.