Sunday, 22 July 2012

Lit Fest

If you want to talk, or  hear me talking,  about The Fifties Mystique, do come along to the Penzance Literary Festival this  Friday, 27 July, when I'll be doing just that in Trevelyan House, Chapel Street, at 2 o'clock.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Sight and Sound

London 2012 Festival: ‘Peace Camp’, devised by theatre director Deborah Warner.Nothing to do with the 1950s  or feminism- but
I can't resist posting about Deborah Warner's "Peace Camp" which is going
 to appear on Godrevy Island next weekend. You can read all about it here:
It will be interesting to see Godrevy, which  has played a large part in my
 life, in this new guise.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Actual Murder

"Writing down lies" is what novelists are sometimes accused of doing. There's not much defence. "But we don't expect people to believe it's true" protested one of my crime writing colleagues, only to be told by another that that's exactly what she does want people to believe.
It's when the murderous imagination is confronted by reality that I have doubts about my  profession, and this week I have to confess that reading and writing fiction about untimely death has felt like a very improper occupation.
My husband's cousin, Perran Thomas,  serving  in Afghanistan, was one of three British soldiers who were  shot dead by an Afghan policeman. Suddenly those familiar scenes, the huge aeroplane, the flag draped coffin, the Last Post, ceased to be a familiar ritual on the six o'clock news, and became a personal human tragedy - the precise opposite of  Good Copy.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Next book?

We're invited to a Cornish version of the Buckingham Palace garden parties: the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall instead of the Queen and Prince Philip and  800 guests instead of 4000. It  takes place at Trewithen, one of Cornwall's most gorgeous gardens,  a local silver band plays and  pretty pavilion-like tents stand round the edge of the huge lawn. It would be perfection BUT - it's been raining for weeks, the ground is waterlogged or at least muddy and the forecast is dire. Frantic last minute changes: a different car park because the real one is  liquid under foot; different clothes - lots of women  have  gum boots or trainers on their feet and huge wedding hats on their heads, the whole ensemble topped by enormous umbrellas,   a sensible if not conventional look. When the royal party appear promptly on the dot, the Duchess and her lady-in-waiting are  equally unpredictably dressed in  buttoned-up Burberries.
              This isn't as irrelevant to my books as you might be thinking, because it turns out that the Duchess of Cornwall is a voracious reader and loves crime fiction. She's gobbled up the Scandinavians, is enjoying the Germans and Spanish and Italians and we have a little moment about detection in Venice, Florence and Sicily before she moves on.
               Royalty, crime stories, a silver band, tea and iced cakes and a lot of mud - it's an unlikely, even a surreal  combination. Perhaps there's a plot in it.