16 July 2013

Author Article: Veronica Henry

After reading Veronica Henry's amazing new book A Night on the Orient Express, I approached Veronica about writing a piece for my blog, and she came up with the brilliant piece on her own trip aboard the Orient Express... all in the name of research of course! My thanks go to the Veronica for taking the time to write this :)

Ok, so no prizes for originality.  I can't ignore the fact that one of the most successful and best-selling books in the world is Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie.  But when I was casting about for the setting for my next novel, I knew I wanted it to be somewhere special.  And one day the idea jpopped into my head out of nowhere and I got the tingly feeling that all writers will be familiar with - when you know you've hit on the device that brings all your characters together: a trip on the Orient Express.

Of course, the one flaw at that point was that I hadn't actually been on the train, and so I steeled myself - ha! - to undergo some rigorous research.  My husband and I arrived at Victoria one Easter weekend, ready to embark on the journey from London to Venice.  I had a stash of notebooks and pens at the ready.  And as soon as I saw the other passengers in the departure lounge, all dressed in their finery, I knew it wouldn't be a question of finding inspiration, it would be knowing when to stop.

Over the next twenty four hours, myriad tales unfolded in front of me.  Everyone on board was there for a reason - whether it was a landmark birthday, an anniversary, a reconciliation, an illicit encounter ... My imagination went into overdrive.

And that was before I had even begun to capture the splendour of the train itself, the sumptuous food, the spectacular scenery.

Writing the book was a dream.  I've explored many different kinds of love: passionate, unrequited, unexpected ...  And the train arrives safely in Venice without a single murder.

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