Reading other people’s blogs is fascinating, I find. And on one memorable occasion, a blog link provided me with the key that helped me to solve the mystery of The Serpent Pool. I’d been puzzling how to deal with a central element in the story, and the book didn’t quite seem to work. Then one day I took a look at a very appealing blog called Letters From a Hill Farm – and there I found a link to an old Youtube video.
The video featured Rupert Holmes, an excellent singer-songwriter, performing a song called ‘Him’ that I greatly enjoyed when it was a Top Ten hit in the UK, about 30 years ago. The story of the song gave me an idea for the book – and from that moment, the writing seemed to go much more easily.
There were a couple of added bonuses. First, Rupert (now an estimable crime writer as well as a composer) permitted me to reproduce a portion of his lyric in my novel – something for which I’m very grateful. Second, the appearance of the blonde-haired singer in the video gave me a picture of the appearance of a character in my story who had, until then, rather eluded me.
So there you have it. An odd little anecdote, perhaps. But an illustration of the way in which the online community can exert an influence over the creative process that is completely unexpected by all concerned. I bet there aren't that many crime novels that have been influenced by a blog link. But maybe one day it will become commonplace!