Finding names for characters in my books is always a thorny problem. Like many authors I have nightmares about being contacted by someone who shares the name of one of my more unpleasant characters (and in a crime novels a high proportion of my characters are bound to be creepy, dishonest, murderous or all three) and is threatening legal action. Usually I just pluck names out of thin air with no real knowledge of how they popped into my head. However, I recently discovered an article in the paper listing surnames that have died out in the UK (or are about to die out). I’ve already made use of this by giving one of the nastiest suspects in my next Wesley Peterson novel an obsolete name. Job done.
And talking of names, I was delighted when the children’s cancer charity CLICSargent asked me to take part in their annual Get In Character auction again. A gentleman called Paul Whitcombe won but, rest assured, he’ll be one of the more sympathetic characters in Wesley’s twenty second investigation, The Mechanical Devil – you heard the title here first!
Since I last wrote this diary I’ve visited libraries in Retford, Disley and Hucknall (in Hucknall I also managed to visit to Lord Byron’s tomb which was an experience I’ll never forget). It was really lovely to meet such lovely and enthusiastic readers and I’m looking forward to visiting more libraries in the near future. On May 4th I’m celebrating the paperback publication of A HIGH MORTALITY OF DOVES with a double visit in the Lancashire area – Bolton Library in the afternoon and Bury Library in the evening. Then on May 11th I’m speaking at one of my local libraries, Didsbury in Manchester (where I take my little granddaughter who’s becoming rather obsessed with books – obviously granny’s influence!)
Kate with the staff at Disley Library
I’ve just started writing the second book in the Albert Lincoln trilogy and it’s good to be continuing Albert’s story after the dramatic events described in A HIGH MORTALITY OF DOVES (no spoilers!) but more about that next time.
Incidentally if anybody is in Edinburgh on Sunday 23rd April (the birthday of a certain Mr Shakespeare) I’ll be at Blackwell’s taking part in Dates with Dangerous Authors at 2.30. If you’re in the area come in and say hello (we authors aren’t that dangerous...honestly) It would be lovely to see you there.