Last Sunday I became Cinderella. How, you may ask, as I have no ugly sisters (or sisters of any kind, come to that) and I’m not in the habit of going to balls in pumpkins? Well I’ll explain. I went to the annual Crime and Mystery Weekend at St Hilda’s College Oxford and after a pleasant weekend listening to interesting talks, meeting lots of old friends and fans from both this country and the States (and even punting on the Cherwell) I decided to take the healthy option and walk to the station.
However, little did I know that the zip on the outside pocket of my case (where I’d packed my shoes) had failed and popped open as I dragged the case behind me. I think you can probably guess the rest. I lost my favourite pair of brown ballerina pumps along with a pair of slippers from a hotel on Lake Garda (tatty but a souvenir of a happy holiday). But worst of all I lost one of my posh platform sole sandals – the ones I last wore for a Detection Club dinner – the ones I’d probably wear to a ball (in the unlikely event that I was ever invited to one). Oxford was crowded with tourists but nobody alerted me to the fact that I was leaving a trail of shoes behind me (mind you, I had to catch my train so I was probably moving at a fair old pace) so now I’m just waiting for Prince Charming to turn up with my missing shoe...but I think I’ll have a long wait!!!
Have you noticed that book titles and covers seem to be very prone to fashion? At the moment every successful crime novel seems to have ‘girl’ in the title – The Girl on the Train, The Girl who Wouldn’t Die etc, etc. I suppose Stieg Larssen started it but I’m just hoping that the next fashion is for books to have ‘House’ or ‘Eyes’ in the title, in which case my next book THE HOUSE OF EYES should be a great hit!
The trouble with being a writer is that you’re never off duty. This year I’ve visited various places but I always find myself assessing the murderous potential of each location, if only for a short story. I always take notebooks with me wherever I go and it’s always great to find one I’ve forgotten about (that’s been left in a case for months) that contains some ideas for plots that went out of my head when I was working on something else. You just never know when inspiration will strike. I’m away on holiday at the end of the month and looking forward to returning refreshed to tackle the next book.
Happy holidays and happy reading!