Tuesday, 28 June 2011

A writer in June Enid Richemont

My e-Books:
JAMIE AND THE WHIPPERSNAPPER (first published by Red Fox, now Kindled by Squinx Inc)
MY MOTHER'S DAUGHTER (first published by Red Fox, now Kindled by Squinx Inc)
THE DREAM DOG (first published by Walker Books, now Kindled by Squinx Inc)

It's a perfect June day in my small London garden where I've planted beans, lettuces, strawberries and tomatoes. Eating food you've grown yourself is a very special delight. Even eating just two perfect ripe strawberries (one each for me and my husband) turns into an almost sacred ritual since we both seriously doubt there will be very many more. This exceptionally sunny June has produced some dramatic colour contrasts too - slabs of brilliant greens and yellows against dark, rich shadow.

When I'm working on a novel, I'm leading a double life. I'm concerned, fearful for, and totally immersed in the characters and situations I've invented, and long after the book's been published, I still relate to them. And sometimes really odd things happen, like the letter I received from a Paris nursing home when I was writing about a very old lady in a French nursing home (in my Young Adult novel WOLFSONG). Coincidence, of course: I have a French surname, and they thought I might be related, but still... sometimes I feel like a medium.

I write to be read, and a book really comes to life for me when it's published - it's a bit like giving birth (and yes, I've done that too). And when, one day, it suddenly goes out of print, it's like a death - so much creativity, not just from me as a writer, but also from my editors (among them the illustrious, and very much missed, Wendy Boase) - now wasted. Kindle reverses all that, offering us a sort of immortality, as long as there are computers and readers. What kind of 'brave new world' have we entered? The words 'freedom' and 'challenge' come to mind. It's scary, but exciting, and I'm happy to be part of e-Authors UK.

Yesterday we went to the British Library science fiction exhibition, OUT OF THIS WORLD - so many possible worlds, so many utopias and nightmares, from Mary Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN to Olaf Stapleton's FIRST AND LAST MEN. Ideas have no boundaries. And on a practical level, for anyone who, like me, struggles with keeping the pages of a paperback open while drinking coffee in the morning, the ebook readers' flat screen is a bonus.

THE DREAM DOG is a must-read for anyone who's ever desperately wanted a dog (at the time, I was hugely helped in my research by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home). It also poses the question - can an animal possess a soul? And there's also a ghost, but is it really a ghost?
MY MOTHER'S DAUGHTER grew out of a very turbulent period in my own daughter's life. It's an angry book, set in rural mid-Wales where we used to go camping. Its original title was, GWENNIE'S ANGEL - and yes, there is an angel, as well as a very old lady and a fanciable young man.
JAMIE AND THE WHIPPERSNAPPER, my youngest Kindle book, started life as DAVEY AND... but the publisher at the time had too many Daveys!


Anonymous said...

Two carefully nurtured strawberries - love that image! I had to move ours to the allotment after Archie carefully and very thoroughly devoured the lot in the garden, not even leaving us one each ...
But a dog book! Wonderful - I shall have to go and download it immediately!

Karen :-)

Katherine Roberts said...

You were edited by Wendy Boase? Sadly I never had a chance to meet or work with her, but the Branford Boase Award keeps Wendy's name alive (along with author Henrietta Branford, who died at around the same time), so I have much to thank her for!


Dan Holloway said...

Very interesting - many many years ago I was involved in editing and introducing one of Wesley's pamphlets, The Gereal Deliverance, which addressed the question of animal souls.