with a little help from my friends

I’ve been really lucky with people offering advice and help with both Mr R and Fred. Local people told me their memories of the 50s, I listened to my grandpa’s tapes where he recollected London in the 30s. Sceptre printed lots of proofs (early reading copies) of Mr R, and several were given to Dorset folk who offered great suggestions/ corrected minor errors: I had common orchids flowering in August when anyone (other than me) knows only the frog orchid blooms, I had porters in the wrong coloured hats, the lilac was out too soon…

Fred is a musical novel. She has a soundtrack, literally – I listen to music constantly as I write – and also in the novel itself. It’s Vienna, 1938 and my heroine and narrator, Elise, comes from a musical family. Her mother, Anna, is an opera singer and sister, Margot, a virtuoso viola player. I can play the flute very badly and despite years of music lessons remain a rather poor musician. So, I’ve been advised by my friend Katie who plays the violin with the spectacular Sonus Quartet: http://www.sonusquartet.com/

She’s suggested the viola pieces that Margot plays when Robert falls in love with her, and also offered more unusual advice. When Elise leaves for England, her father asks her to take with her an old viola. Hidden within the belly is his latest novel. His works are banned in Austria, so he stashes a carbon copy on yellow tissue paper within the viola, so that it can be smuggled into England for safekeeping.

Katie has explained how this would work, (don’t ask, it involves the f-holes) and even what the viola would sound like, if played with the pages still inside. All I need now, is for her to write me a symphony…


1 Comment

Filed under Book 2 - Tyneford Project, from summerhouse to summer read, inspirations behind Mr Rosenblum, writer pontification

One response to “with a little help from my friends

  1. I like what you guys are up too. This type of clever work
    and reporting! Keep up the great works guys I’ve included you guys to my own blogroll.

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