The Truth About Writers

Went to hear R J Ellory talk to an audience of readers’ groups at Milton Keynes Library last night.  That is R J ELLORY not JAMES ELLROY with whom he is sometimes confused.  I can’t vouch for Mr Ellroy but Roger Ellory is a great speaker – fluent, intelligent, thoughtful and funny – so it’s no wonder there was a long queue to buy books afterwards.

One of the first points he made was that the writer’s life is not quite how some people imagine it. We do not, he explained, lie in bed most of the morning with a hangover, then bash out a few immortal lines, fend off the film offers and head out in the evening to get drunk at the next launch party. (I’m paraphrasing here.)

He’s absolutely right. Apart from the hour or so in which I dictate 1,000 words to my secretary and send the research assistant off on the latest assignment, I  spend most of the day lying on a chaise longue painting my toenails and watching The West Wing.

Please excuse me. I could go on, but George Clooney’s just rung to say he’s  popping round any minute,  so I need to slip into a fresh pair of silk pyjamas.

Does anybody know this man?

The Large Print edition of Persona Non Grata has now been published with this fine chap on the cover:

Picture of legionary re-enactor on book cover

Author’s aren’t consulted about Large Print covers (or at least, I’m not) so there was no chance to ask where this shot was taken. I’d love to know because the background is not unlike Corbridge, where I spent many happy hours researching the second of  Ruso’s  adventures.

If anyone knows who the tip of that nose belongs to, please pass on my thanks.