No, I’m not really evil. I mean the latest book made him cry.
I got a couple of early reading copies of Island of Bones from Helena at Headline last week. One copy went straight to my parents, and the other I handed over to Ned. He knows that once this happens he has to drop whatever he is doing and read. It’s a slightly odd experience for both of us. I have to try really hard not to watch his reactions, and anytime he makes a satisfied grunt, stop leaning over his shoulder to see what I did right; and he has this weird sensation of reading a book that he has read parts of in various forms previously. The other thing for him is he can see his own life and memories woven into it. Places we’ve been, things we’ve talked about, bits of research he’s done and so on. No matter the book is set over two hundred years ago, we walked the ground together, physically and mentally.
Also, of course, the parts of myself that come up in the book are very different to me that lives in the day to day. That probably sounds highly pretentious, but I can’t help it. It’s true. In some ways the novels are a truer reflection of my character, in other ways they are full of oddly distorted and refracted versions of me.
It must be a strange experience to read a novel by someone you love, like being able to see into their dreams. I’m not sure I’d want to…
Anyway, the important thing is he was properly drawn in, laughed when I wanted him too, wouldn’t talk to me in the exciting bits, and cried at the end. Job done.