Archaeologist, librarian, genealogist, EU official…now a writer. Still digging.
New project working title: ‘N37 E22: A Greek Tragedy’.
Agatha’s sister was murdered in Greece in 1980. The crime is unsolved. Twenty years later, she goes there to meet the police who worked on her case. She is also writing a novel about a writer whose sister was murdered twenty years earlier in Greece. Will the killer take the bait?
Previous (unpublished) novel: ‘Love in the Time of Rebellion – a story of 1798.’
‘The Iliad? Yeah, that was a bestseller. Homer was the Jules Verne or Robert Ludlum of his day. Not to mention the spinoffs. Virgil’s Aeneid, for one. No copyright issues back then, of course.’
‘Robert Ludlum? I thought Homer was a classic, one of those Roots of All Great Literature?’
‘It’s the same stuff. Blood, gore, war, women, sex. Always bestsellers.’
Agatha sipped her coffee and Robert gazed at the sea. A breeze stirred the paper napkins on the café table, and salt air tanged their lips. The tide was coming in and waves broke on the sandy shore.
‘I don’t think Homer would be too happy at the comparison,’ he said eventually.
‘Are you kidding? He had to earn his crust and I don’t imagine it was any easier then than it is now. He’d be thrilled to be consorting with such successful authors. They’d be reclining on a terrace overlooking the Med., bitching about their agents, editors, publicists, whatever. As they sank the martinis and mentally debated whether they needed a fresh manicure.’
He laughed. ‘Is that what you aspire to when you became world-famous? Martinis and manicures?’
‘It’ll do – for a start.’ She reached out to push his arm. ‘You may slag, but by the time I manage to get published, it’ll be the least I deserve.’
‘How many rejections?’
‘Fourteen. I’m in the halfpenny place. It has to be forty or fifty before it counts as a serious prospect, especially a first novel. In any case, I’m leaving that one to its own devices while I get cracking on the next one.’
‘Is this where Homer comes in?’
‘Sort of. It’s a Greek story and it’s definitely a tragedy. I wondered if there were resonances, that’s all.’
‘But your new book is a detective novel if I understood you.’
‘Like I said, blood and guts.’