Monday, November 20, 2006

The pig and the sausage

It’s a strange experience reading a novel by someone you know well, especially when it definitely has autobiographical elements. Sue Hepworth’s lovely comic novel, PLOTTING FOR BEGINNERS, came out earlier this year and features a woman of a certain age living in the Peak District, married to a somewhat eccentric husband, with three children. She is struggling to get her first novel published and she is helped or impeded by a vivid cast of characters. The members of the local writing group are particularly bonkers . Think DIARY OF A PROVINCIAL LADY brought up to date.
Well, the real Sue Hepworth is a woman of a certain age living in the Peak District, she’s married to a somewhat eccentric husband, she’s got three children and she is the closest thing I‘ve got to a writing buddy. I think you can see where this is going. I don’t think I’m in there, but would I be able to tell? When the nineteenth century novelist, Fanny Trollope (mother of the more famous Anthony), was asked if she based her characters on real people, she replied ‘Of course, but you’d never recognise the pig from the sausage.' Oink, oink.

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