Authors: never off duty

I enjoyed my Cornish break, containing as it did many fine ingredients, including scenic walks, cream teas, storm-lashed seas breaking over rocks (visible from our cottage, even), scrumpy and (most surprisingly of all) sunshine. 

My original plan of a week of long lie-ins fell prey to some early-morning bouts of inspiration, but that gave us more time to do stuff during the day. All the actual writing was for Bringer of Light, as were various conversations with Beloved, who’s very good at untangling my plots, and pointing out holes in same.

However, I also had several synchronous moments related to a novella I’ve written but which awaits revision. It has the working title ‘Dying of the Light’ and is a near-future piece set in ‘my’ universe which features a spark-gap transmitter. My initial research was restricted to t’internet and some light brain-picking of engineers from my ex-day-job. Our cottage was one cove along from Poldhu and we could see the Marconi monument on its lonely cliff-top from our window, so of course we had to walk over to it (well, down and back up – this is a very craggy bit of coast). We found the associated museum staffed by aged but helpful amateur radio enthusiasts who were only too happy to help me out, and were very forgiving of my lack of technical knowledge. In an amazing piece of synchronicity, the club’s president, a lovely chap called George (94 years young) turns out to be one of the last people alive who has actually operated a spark-gap transmitter. He also solved a technical problem I had: the answer, apparently, was to use a microwave oven.

In other news, Consorts of Heaven has been long-listed for both the British Fantasy and Clarke Awards. I don’t expect to be short-listed for either (just check out the other books to see why) but I am very pleased to make the long-lists.

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