Sunday, 26 August 2007
Research, Research, Research
Just got back from a brilliant research trip in Bath. I've been travelling quite cheaply, staying in the smallest room in a convenient hotel and getting the feeling of 'being on the road'. In order to connect to my characters' lives as best I could, I visited several museums, imagining what it would have been like to use all the implements, wear the clothes and be at the mercy of the medicines and the food. Also I had a lot of help from the glassblowers' studio by the river, who told me all about the dangers and joys of handblown glass. I did several pathworkings, made sketches and produced some awful watercolours. Some days I sat by the River Avon and gave myself a rest. One thing I did experience was the loneliness of the road, and also the effects of the weather - when I got drenched in the rain it took a real effort to keep my spirits up. How much worse must it be if your livelihood depends on the sunshine. It's really easy to write in a grotty hotel room - in fact, working on my novel was the main thing that kept me sane when the nights drew in and I missed home the most.