Thursday, December 04, 2014

The Other Writer in The Family

As many of you already know, my husband  Stephen  - the Babe Magnet -  is also a writer.

Most of the time he is a writer of facts, of history, local history, the history of crime, but just lately he has branched out into fiction and has had a couple of historical crime novels published - A Thief in the Night and A Killer Between the Lines.

He's also recently had a book called The Girl Who Lived on Air published (if you remember that's why we headed for Wales for him  to  talk about this book at the Penfro book festival,   And this week there is his biography of George Grossmith  - who wrote The Diary of a Nobody, but was also a friend of and a star in Gilbert and Sullivan's Savoy Operas - A Victorian Somebody.

People often ask me - as they ask me, too - where he gets his ideas from.  Well, last week was a perfect example.

  He was teaching at the university where he lectures part time,   and talking about writing from primary sources - letters, notebooks etc - one of his students said a friend of her was looking  for some one who might be able to use a  collection that she had.  This lady had helped  to an old lady  for years and when old lady had died there was all this stuff - photographs,  postcards, reports,  personal letters  etc etc

DH  said he would love to see what was what - he was thinking that there might be a box or so -  there were boxes and  boxes, and  three suitcases!!  We opened one the first night we brought this home   and ended up  with our minds whirling at what there is - she never destroyed a thing. There are passports dating back to 1930s -  she was in the WRVS and travelled to Singapore, Tobruk - other places I can't recall.  There are letters from  the House of Commons -  she'd  written to MPs  on topics like whaling, Rwanada,  exporting live animals reports of the planning for clubs and societies -  and games nights in the NAFFI. There is even  a small old card and a tiny bit of old, grubby material with HL loves BB  embroidered very roughly on it. There must be a story behind that. 

Now the Babe Magnet can get an idea for a  story that needs investigating from one small newspaper report, a photograph or an old postcard picked up in an antiques shop of a bundle of junk. So how much can he get out of this huge archive?  We have  barely scratched the surface  of what's in there!  I'll have  to wait and see just what he decides on and which stories emerge from this elderly, dusty (and frankly rather smelly)  collection of  papers.  One intriguing  thing - this lady was born on the same date as my own birthday - but  many years before.  


Anne McAllister said...

I envy Steve His Archive, Kate. What a treasure. He'll make wonderful use of it, I know.

Trekking in Nepal said...
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