The Biggleswade Chronicle


The Biggleswade Chronicle phoned me last night. It's the paper local to where I live in England, and strikes me as the perfect title for a newspaper in the Harry Potter books. It's where I'd go for the latest news on Middle Earth.

Within seconds of answering the phone I had embarked on an interview - the paper is covering the release of On Sacred Mountains. I jumped out of my novel-writing focus and gave it my best shot, but it was a wake-up call. I was slow to start, hadn't got my story and points in sharp focus. I need to prepare for more of exactly this call in the future - and started this morning by noting down a few of the major points to bring up.

I've emailed a few photographs of myself through too. It's curious how automatic a request this is nowadays - that an author has such shots and email capacity even from a mountain retreat in France.

The Biggleswade Chronicle certainly makes a change. I'm more used to calls to this house from Radio Leicester over the years, the station spurred by my aunts to ring and ask for my view on the local football team or a bulletin of news from my region of the world. I would look out of the window at the mountains and make something up. News from Leicester today is that the city got up in arms against the decision to name the football club's new ground The Walkers Bowl (Walkers beind a potato chip manufacturer and the club sponsor). The city was horrified - the word 'Bowl' sounded much too American. The powers that be have given in and it is now to be called The Walkers Stadium. I neither laugh nor cry at such parochialism but do find it somewhat pitiful. I've become more American than I knew, and happily leave the US version of spellcheck running on my new novel. I wonder if it's really possible to reach readers on both sides of the Atlantic when attitudes are as tired and entrenched as that.

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