Sunday, April 26, 2009

Random Luck

It was just random luck that I got to use this beautifully weird little church in the current book ("Slightly Foxed and the Case of the London Dragonfish" due out from Catnip Books this time next year). I needed a red herring (the book is the first in a series of detective stories, after all) - my fiendish bad guy needed to make a really difficult riddle (I did say he was fiendish) - and I wanted everybody to end up at the Old Spirit Building that used to be behind the Natural History Museum - so All Souls was the obvious choice. (You may have to read the book for this to really make sense - meantime, just trust me.) If this church hadn't existed, I would have had to invent it but, as it does, Random Luck, I thank you.

The other entity that I'd like to thank is James Hatton, an extremely pleasant and useful member of the Archives team at the NHM. I had a FABULOUS morning getting to look at the things he ferreted out for me - the original architect's plans for the Spirit Building, photos of the displays in the Central Hall in the 1890s, the Guide Books from then - even the Trustees' minutes, beautifully written (as in penned) and full of fascinating details like the £7. they spent on a Somali Warthog's head and tons of other things that I won't be able to shoehorn into THIS book but will squirrel away for some other one.

Blisters aside, London was great - fun AND productive. And when I finish Book One it's on to Glasgow! ("Slightly Foxed and the Case of the Glasgow Ghoul" in case you were wondering.) And that's another story ...

Cheers, Joan.


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