Friday, 29 November 2013

A Strange and Random Lovely Review

The first Iris novel I wrote for Snowbooks, ‘Enter Wildthyme’ got a really terrific review today from one of my favourite blogs, ‘Strange and Random Happenstance  I really like Miss Eliza’s combination of science fictional, Gothic and cosily mysterious sensibilities, and I was relieved and delighted to read that she’d enjoyed the novel. (Relieved because she’s recently been reviewing some of the Dr Who novel reprints from BBC Books and she was so fierce with them…!)

She writes about the interconnectedness of what I do: the way that I seem to enjoy linking all my stories up together.  And that’s true. I love that stuff. (Personally, I think I join all these characters up and let them know each other – even distantly – because I grew up inside a family at war, riven with huffs, vendettas and divorce…) I wouldn’t ever want my fictional world to become too complicated or opaque to new readers, but I do like to reward the long-term fans, and myself, with these kind of little ‘rhymes’ across time and space. Somehow I do see everything I write as happening within the same set of mashed-up universes.

Anyhow, I thought I’d quote some of her fab blog piece here. Elizabeth also says very nice stuff about feeling comfy in the fiction I write, and that sensation of being with friends. That’s something I really work at trying to get in there. I want it to feel just like that – so that my stories are just like having adventures in the company of the best friends you ever had.

There's something just wonderful in the interconnectedness of Paul's books. Being a fan of Brenda and Effie, I loved seeing little winks and nods to them. Paul's books are all of the same universe, but it's a fluid universe where things are like but not exact. So while we have pinking sheers that cut the fabric of time and space, which are like those in Brenda and Effie's adventures, can we actually say they are the same? In Paul's universe it really doesn't matter. They could be, they might be, but then again, who knows. It's that fluidity and that nudge and a wink that makes his books so much fun. We have Jessie working at the galactic Hotel Miramar... ah, but could this Jessie be like the Jessie who worked not at the Miramar in Whitby but for Mrs. Claus? The Jessie who had the sad fate of turning into a womanzie? Or perhaps this is a parallel Jessie, a Jessie with a better fate. Every little connection, every little joke just made me giggle and sigh with contentment. If I could find a way to move into these books where after a day of fighting evil and possibly a good old punch up I could settle down in a warm chair and just relax and chat with my fellow friends, now that would be the life. Having a stuffed Panda as a sidekick would just add to the awesome.”

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