Linda Stratmann: The Many Headed Writer
A month in the life of a busy writer
Writers are always busy, and some months are busier than others, but May has been quite a challenge! I have spent most of the month preparing an outline for a new non-fiction book, which has involved substantial amounts of historical research, but every so often, like Worzel Gummidge I have to change heads for a new task and immerse myself in something else.
When not researching non-fiction I was also planning and writing the future adventures of my fictional detective Frances Doughty, finalising a powerpoint presentation on the Marquess of Queensberry and recapping on past books for a series of talks.
2 May was the official launch of my biography of the Marquess of Queensberry at Daunt Books, and it was wonderful to see the current Marquess there and Lord Gawain Douglas, as well as representatives of Yale University Press and so many old friends. On 7th I was at Sidcup to give a talk on Kent Murders to a local history society, who couldn’t have been more friendly and welcoming. On 11th I was treated to an author’s lunch by the wonderful ladies and gentlemen of the Oscar Wilde Society and delivered an after dinner speech.
On 15th it was Epping bookshop where I was given a warm welcome and talked about Essex Murders and the Frances Doughty mysteries. On 22nd I re-attached my Queensberry head for a talk at the Bishopsgate Institute, which was well attended by an interested audience who asked some very good questions.
On Saturday 25th it was another change of head when I went to Islington to film an interview for an edition of the Fred Dinenage Murder Casebook, which will be shown in the autumn. The subject was Jack the Ripper and based on my chapter in Greater London Murders I talked about what it was like in Whitechapel for the people living there at the time of the murders.
On Wednesday 29th I was due to visit the Australian Broadcasting Corporation HQ at Millbank to do an interview about Queensberry, but this was postponed until 6 June, which gave me more time to squeeze in the preparation I needed to do for the panel I am appearing on about historical crime writing at Crimefest!
This is the bit where the weary writer needs to lie down with a wet towel around the head, only I am not sure which head needs it the most.
It wasn’t too surprising that I was feeling tired, so I entirely missed the fact that I was coming down with a feverish cold, which accompanied me to Crimefest. As ever Crimefest was highly enjoyable, even more so when I had staggered off to the chemist to find something to keep me going!
Back home, I took myself and my many throbbing heads off to bed and stayed there for a whole day, to arise again refreshed and ready for the challenges of a new month.