Where Shall I Set The Next Bryant & May?
Dear diary, this week was rather more up and down than I’d hoped for.
I bounced back from a debilitating virus that had lingered since January only to be knocked over by a courier bike in Bloomsbury, and am now laid up with a torn thigh muscle. But I’m doing better than my freelance friends who are suddenly finding themselves without work because they’re employed by US clients who have stopped travelling. The coronavirus (tragedy in the East, bizarre social panic in the West) has knocked out most of the international book fairs so publishers are coming up with ways of getting commercial life back to normal. Most US film premieres here have been cancelled, so pals of mine who’ve been working on the James Bond launch are suddenly unemployed.
Meanwhile my thriller is finished and standing in the wings waiting to take flight. My ‘Complete Short Stories’ has yet to find a buyer (I may end up having to do it myself) and several other books are on the runway revving their engines.
Next week I’ve been asked to provide my publisher with an outline for another Bryant & May novel. I have a plot in mind but have not settled on the locations for the book that provide it with atmosphere. It occurred to me that I should turn the question over to my advisory board ie. you lot, and see if there’s anything in particular you feel I have overlooked. I thought about a story set in London’s museums and art galleries, or in workplaces – I’ve covered churches, pubs, theatres, parks etc. Museums were touched on in ‘Seventy Seven Clocks’ and an office block was the setting of ‘Breathe’, the science fiction novel I wrote that I don’t think anyone saw (mercifully – it was a simple transcription from a doomed screenplay). So I’m casting about for new locations and am considering Metroland. All Bryant & May location suggestions will be considered in the good-natured spirit of argument!