Only eight days until Particular Stupidities (Romney and Marsh File #5) hits the virtual shelves. It’s still available for the special pre-order price of 99p. On the same date (30th July) I’m also the focus of an author Q&A over at the excellent and fast-growing Facebook group Crime Book Club run by the wonderfully supportive and energetic Louise Hunter. I’m doubly excited and doubly anxious in equal measure.
In response to my last blog-post, in which I expressed concern that I’m not finding (making) any writing time while I’m on holiday back ‘home’, I had a comment suggesting that it was likely the visit would still be useful to me in a number of ways, not least of which was reassociating myself with the area in which I base most of my books. How true that is. As well as the day-to-day living here where I’ll just absorb things through a kind of osmosis I’ve had a couple of more deliberate and direct experiences to share.
I attended a talk in one of Romney Marsh’s fourteen medieval churches. (Fourteen! That seems quite a high number to me for the size of the Marsh. There are four recorded ruined churches here, too.) The talk was held at St George in Ivychurch and was titled: Tracing Your Ancestors Through Death Records. It was fascinating and I’d have been glad to attend in any case. There’s a great pub next door, too. (Link to the speaker at the bottom of the page. [And the pub]).
I was there because another reader who keeps in touch let me know about it and suggested it might be of some use to me in my writing. Thanks to him. It was a spookily serendipitous suggestion, actually, because I had been kicking around a Booker & Cash plotline about someone getting in touch with Jo Cash to see if she’d be interested in some historical detective work – locating ancestors type stuff. In that respect the talk was really useful and the speaker was happy to follow up with a very detailed emailed handout. I’m that much more excited about getting stuck into the writing project. (It must have been a good talk – I bought the book.)
I’m not a remotely religious person, in fact I’d go as far to say that I am a practising atheist, but I do find churches special and interesting places. The architecture, the times they’ve lived through, the graveyards and the history attached to them all combine to make them buildings I’m always happy to while away some time investigating their features and enjoying the surroundings.
It was my first visit to St George church. Having just Googled the link for the Marsh churches’ trust I’m encouraged to visit a few more before I push off back to Turkey.
Again, rather serendipitously, one of Dymchurch’s oldest living sons (He’s in his nineties and still gets about courtesy of his mobility scooter.) dropped by the other day to let me know that the Dymchurch Heritage Group had their meeting and reference room open for a couple of hours. I went along to discover an Aladdin’s cave of fantastic material related to Dymchurch history. I couldn’t help seeing future Booker & Cash stories everywhere. Again, I became quite excited with possibilities. The custodians on duty were fantastically helpful and generous with offers of access to their material.
So, yes, I might not be writing but simply being back in Booker & Cash country could prove to be worth it to me the writer as well as me the human being.
(I’m writing this on the laptop in the lounge while my youngest sleeps off the bracing morning walk in the breezy sunshine on the new sofa. He looks so angelic when he’s dozing. He’s just caught my attention because he’s obviously dreaming about doing something energetic – his little limbs are twitching. He now has my full attention and I’m not smiling indulgently anymore. I’m experiencing mild panic. I’ve just noticed a large dark patch on the upholstery underneath him that wasn’t there when I put him down. I just have to hope that his mum doesn’t come home before he wakes up and I’ve had a chance to flip the cushion. A spray of Glade and it’s our secret.)