…when you do readings is the people you get to meet. People about whom you might think, on the surface, ‘I have nothing in common with you…’
But then, because of the circumstances of being in their shop or their venue, you get talking and, behold and whoa, they ask a question or two, possibly because it’s their job, possibly not, and there you are. And this happened last night and it was just one of those great unexpected moments.
I got talking to this young woman with a very lively intelligence about–yes, all right, it had to be, didn’t it–Napoleon’s inch-long willy…which was just the sort of wild thing that went exactly in the venue, the Little Shop of Horrors, but from there the conversation went on to all sorts of things about the early 19th century and the Napoleonic wars.
And talking to her about all this stuff which I find so cool just reminded me why I love what I do. Why knowledge and the sharing of it is among the most exciting things about human relationships. And it rekindled in me such a love for all the trivia that goes into making a good novel about the period.
Why do I know all this stuff? Well, mainly because I have a brain like a sponge, apparently, and I can’t help it soaking up whatever it encounters. But also, I do try to read everything that might be pertinent, and see everything that might be relevant, because you never know what you’re going to need to know, do you? And I can’t have one of my characters make a crack about some gossip about Napoleon if I don’t know what the gossip was. (I do, as it happens. And you’re right, we need more of that…ha ha.)
Anyway, I just wanted to say that. It was a treat to talk Napoleonic shop and I can’t think why we don’t do more of it.