Tuesday, February 27th 2007 : "On the road"
Last night Helen and I were in Morpeth at a library gig. It was only as I walked through the door that I remembered I'd set a scene in HIDDEN DEPTHS in the building. It was a weird sensation - like walking into a book. I almost expected Samuel Parr, one of the characters, to be sitting behind the desk. It was a good evening - a full house, well organised and Borders were there selling books.
Tomorrow I'm off to South Wales, to another library event, in Port Talbot. Hours on the train. I like long train journeys as long as there are no screaming children or screaming businessmen. Sometimes I can write, but even when I can't it's a chance to brood about a book. Once I've done the re-writes on the second Shetland novel it'll be time to start the third. I won't really be thinking about plot or character while the train goes south through Derby and Chesterfield and Birmingham New Street. It's more about capturing an atmosphere or a theme. A process it's hard to pin down.
Next week it's another long train journey to North Devon. I grew up in Barnstaple and returning there will be strange too - almost the same sensation as walking into Morpeth Library last night. I'm doing the Waterstone's Supper Club with Stu and Margaret, but on Thursday morning I'll have a chance to catch up with my old school friend, Sue. I'm looking forward to that. It makes the hours in the train worthwhile.
While I'm travelling around this country Tim, my husband, is preparing to go to the South Atlantic. He leads natural history trips for Wildwings Tours. It's chaos. Piles of thermal underwear and optical equipment and bird books all over the house. Any spare time is spent mugging up on penguins and petrels. Part of me envies him the adventure. But at least you don't get sea sick on the train to Tiverton.
Posted by Ann at 05:36 PM GMT