Sunday, 23 March 2008

23rd March 2008

So, here I go, a virgin blogger, beginning on Easter Sunday, which may or may not seem sacrilegious. Anyway, I've been inspired by dovegreyreader -- a book blog to which I've become addicted -- to have a go on my own. The last month has been consumed by an endless, spooling monologue in my head about the publication of my most recent book, a novel called "Daphne". I don't want to keep thinking about it -- or the sales, or the reviews -- because I think it's important to let go of a book, once it's published. Well, that's the theory, anyway, but for some reason, I've found it hard to put this into practise. I spent such a long time researching this book -- which is based on a real episode in the life of Daphne du Maurier -- and there's something about the subject matter (madness, failure, hauntings, ghosts, both literary and otherwise) that has really got under my skin. At its best, while I was writing and researching "Daphne", I felt that prickling at the back of my neck, which is always a signal (to me, at least), that the book has somehow taken on a life of its own. At its worst, I've felt more depressed and anxious about this book than any other I've written, and more possessed by it, as well.
The odd thing about publication is that you get a sudden spate of public responses -- from the critics -- and readers have talked to me after I've done a couple of events. But I'd like the chance to have quieter conversations, via this blog. If anyone reads it, that is...

22 comments:

dovegreyreader said...

Welcome to the blog world Justine! Now that I'm reading Daphne I can see exactly how this must have got under your skin because I feel possessed enough just reading it, and also inspired to follow all sorts of book trails as a result.I shall look forward to your thoughts on here as the book heads off on its journey, now that must be very strange, letting it all go off to fend for itself? Be assured, Daphne's fine down here in Devon:-)

Karen said...

As soon as I saw Dovegrey's mention of "Daphne" I marked it down as a "must read" and I'm greatly looking forward to it, Justine.
Here's to your blog, as well, and may you get as much from it as I have from mine. Good luck!

Table Talk said...

Welcome to the blog world, Justine. I heard you talk about this on the radio a couple of weeks ago, but the library hasn't yet come up with a copy. Once it has then I'll come back and join in with any conversation that has begun, but if you're going to blog regularly then I'll come back before then as well. Good Luck.

Justine Picardie said...

Thank you so much to everyone who responded so quickly! You've made my day a brighter one.

Clare Dudman said...

Welcome to blogging - I've come here via Dove Grey Reader's. I'd seen a lot about your book already in the press, and looking forward very much to reading it soon.

Justine Picardie said...

To everyone who has commented this afternoon -- so quickly -- you all deserve signed copies of Daphne. Let me know if you want/ need them. You are the first responses to a fledgling blog, which makes you forever special in this blogger's heart.

Clare Dudman said...

Oh I'd love one, please, Justine!

Justine Picardie said...

Clare -- I'd be happy to send you a book. And I love the sound of your novels -- clearly, we have something in common, combining research on real historical characters with fiction imaginings -- because I've always been fascinated by Struwwlelpeter. My sister and I read that story as children, and he terrified me in my dreams. What a brilliant idea, to write a book about his author...

Clare Dudman said...

Thank you very much, Justine! The author of Struwwelpeter was a superintendent of a mental asylum and insanity is a theme that fascinates me - and I am really looking forward to reading how it affected Daphne Du Maurier.

Ayla said...

I'm pleased you've started a blog - I love your writing in Stella magazine. I also love Daphne du Maurier, so will reserve your book at the library when it arrives!

Sally said...

Hello. I, too, am here from dovegreyreader's blog. (The way you can fall from one blog to another is rather like Alice falling through the rabbit hole past all those fascinating shelves and landing somewhere entirely different.

I already have Daphne on order. You won't remember but I met you several years ago at the Ilkley Book Festival where I bought a copy of 'My Mother's Wedding Dress.' I have read all your books and am looking forward enormously to reading Daphne. I also remember
you admired my butterfly pendant.

Justine Picardie said...

I love the Alice in Wonderland analogy -- and it's also a bit like emerging through the back of the wardrobe into Narnia, isn't it? I do remember meeting someone with a beautiful butterfly pendant in Ilkley, actually. And I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. Really hope you like Daphne, too. Just remembered -- have been invited back to the Ilkley festival later this year. Do you think I should come again?

Maylin said...

Hello, I'm also coming to you via Dovegreyreader, so welcome to blogworld. I've recently ordered your book from amazon UK as I think it won't be published in Canada for a number of months yet. I'm very much looking forward to reading it - I come to Daphne via my lifelong interest in the Brontes (my family is originally from Shipley - not too far from Haworth). Best of luck with the book and I look forward to reading your blog too.

Justine Picardie said...

Nice to meet you, Maylin, and thanks for ordering the book from amazon. I've got relatives in Canada -- a much loved aunt and uncle in Toronto, and four cousins. I really hope you enjoy the Brontean aspect of 'Daphne'. I spent several years researching it -- and immersed myself in the archives of the Bronte Parsonage Museum and the Brotherton Library in Leeds,which contains a treasure trove of Bronte manuscripts and letters. And there's a real literary mystery -- a true story -- at the heart of the book.

Kirsty said...

Good luck Justine! Welcome to the blogosphere!

A Bookish Space said...

May I start with an apology for commenting on such an old post 9your first indeed). I stumbled across your blog a couple of weeks ago, but it is only now when looking at past posts that I have found the wealth of posts that you have about DDM. I am currently immersed in Daphne (which I don't want to end), and am so excited to find so many posts about her!, so I shall now be reading your blog from post one onwards.

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