I really enjoyed taking part in last week’s Open Book Blog Hop. It’s an opportunity to offer a little more of an insight into my interests and thoughts while tackling a different subject each week.
Today is a little less creative, but an interesting subject: What historical or public figure would you most like to learn more about? Would you ever write about them?
And remember to pay a visit to my fellow writers to see what they have come up with. You can find their works here!
I am going to treat this as two distinct questions as I think I’d answer it best in that fashion. And I will take the second part first. Would I ever write about a historic or public figure? I did. Or I tried at least. Chasing Shadows is my first completed, published novel, but it isn’t my first attempt at a novel. The first had a working title of Our Boy Jack. It was a historical fiction about Jack the Ripper. I wanted to imagine who he might have been. Who was behind the notorious London murders? I tried a few drafts, with a couple of ideas on that score to see what would fit. Sadly, nothing really worked. I found myself mired in a world of constant research. I was looking up the known facts about the case, all manner of details to ensure they were era-correct, or as much as possible. Unfortunately I found this a real creative drain. Who knows, one day I might revisit it in some way, shape or form.
As for a historic or public figure I’d love the chance to learn more about, I like to consider these sort of questions in the frame of “who would I love to chat to over a coffee?” Well I think I’ve covered the historic element in my previous question. So for this one, I am going with a public figure, someone famous. Someone that has actually been a big influence on my reading, and to some extent, my writing too. The person in question is Stephen King. I’ve been reading his books for years. Possibly longer than I should be considering the age I was when I read a few of his books! I’ve loved his horror novels. From IT to The Shining, and Pet Semetary to Insomnia, they have captivated me with his vividly described worlds and creatures. And then there are some of his more epic novels like The Stand and the incredible series, The Dark Tower.
His highly descriptive style really resonates with me, and has to a degree influenced some of my writing style. The worlds and the characters are vibrant and colourful. I’d love to sit and discuss with him how he came up with some of his most iconic and terrifying creations. The opportunity to talk with him about his process would be fascinating. I know he has been plagued by his demons, demons that took him into some dark places, but ones he managed to overcome. A man with such an impressive back catalogue of novels who still continues to be so prolific would make for fascinating conversation.
Given an opportunity to throw a second name into the ring, I would have to go with Sir Terry Pratchett. I was a late arrival to his immense Discworld series, but was immediately hooked. Here was a man with an incredible mind to create such a rich world filled with myriad characters and locales. The humour and satire that filled his books is something to behold. He managed to discuss various real life topics without ever directly commenting on them. To share a small slice of space and time with both of these fantastic authors and just talk shop would be fantastic.