Monday 24 November 2008

Cafe d'Art

The publication of Dancing for the Hangman is a nice excuse for a variety of celebrations. Last Wednesday evening I was in Formby, half-way between Liverpool and Southport, for a pleasurable event at Café d’Art. It was organised by Tony Higginson from the local indie bookshop, Pritchard’s. The format of the evening was that I was interviewed by Jane Gallagher – we did something similar three years ago, when The Cipher Garden was first published, and it seemed like a good moment for a reprise to coincide with the publication of the new book.

Jane must have an extremely good memory, for she remembered that, on my previous visit, I’d been rather struck by the café’s ambience and mused idly about including such a place in a scene in a future novel. As it happens, I did indeed use the setting in The Arsenic Labyrinth – but transplanted to Kendal in Cumbria and changed around a bit. It’s the scene of a rendezvous between Hannah Scarlett and Daniel Kind.

Jane is a local journalist and our paths have crossed on many occasions – she once wrote a feature about our home for the ‘Real Rooms’ column in the Liverpool Daily Post – and among her accomplishments, she has become a highly successful blogger. In fact, she has two main blogs, one dealing with matters literary (see the new link on my blogroll) and another, very well visited, blog, Work That Wardrobe, dealing with clothes and fashion. Now there is nobody less competent when it comes to elegant clothes and fashion than me, but even I can recognise hers as a very appealingly personal take on the subject.

Jane is also writer in residence at a prison and, as if all this, freelance p.r. work and bringing up a family wasn’t enough, she’s currently working on her first novel. I haven’t read the manuscript, but Jane is a high calibre writer whom any publisher is bound to find very marketable. I have little doubt that she has the potential to achieve just as much success as a novelist as she has in her various other activities.


Jane said...

Martin - thank you so much for those lovely comments.
I thoroughly enjoyed last week's event and learning even more about your work.
You have inspired me not only to reach the end of my first draft but to keep at it.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I will look forward to Dancing for the Hangman! Congratulations.