Tuesday 16 September 2008

The Ultimate Accolade

Wow! It takes a lot to make me speechless I can tell you - but today I am.

My favorite author of all time is Peter Robinson (ace writer of the Inspector Banks crime/thriller series) who I first discovered a few years ago while wandering aimlessly in a charity shop on one of the saddest days of my life.

Peter's "The Summer That Never Was" was a lone crime novel amidst a lot of long-abandoned and never-read literary tomes (probably bought on the recommendation of dinner party guests or the hefty broadsheets), and the starkness of the cover and the bleak title suited my mood. I bought it for a pound, needing a novel that would take me away from the current awfulness of my real life, and devoured it within two days and two sleepless nights.

That one book had me hooked on Peter Robinson's writing and I immediately bought his entire backlist so I could read them in order, and since then have bought every one of his books in hardback as soon as they're published. Which, I hope, will placate those writers who seem to think that buying second-hand is a mortal sin. I've always thought it was an ideal way for those of us who are not so well-off to discover new authors, and if you like them, then you'll buy everything else at full-price rather than miss out. Now, I could do Inspector Banks on Mastermind - well, no, I couldn't because I'd be a gibbering wreck long before I got to the Big Black Chair - but you know what I mean.

Anyway, I'm currently reading Peter's latest brilliant novel, yes, in hardback - All The Colours Of Darkness ( a very clever mixture of Shakespeare and Spooks) and last night I was snuggled in bed totally immersed, when I let out an ear-splitting shriek of disbelief.

The Toyboy Trucker (who'd been asleep for hours) leaped out of bed and stubbed his toe on the bookshelves and swore a lot and was just about to stumble to the shower before I told him it was only 2 a.m. And the bed-sharing cats - Jonah, Luca, Alexia and Dexter- all fled out onto the landing excitedly expecting an early breakfast.

"Why," The Toyboy Trucker asked through gritted teeth as the cats all glared at me, "did you scream? It's not another damn (he didn't say damn) spider is it?" "Noooo,' I gibbered excitedly, pointing to page 162 of Peter's book, "I'm in this book!" "Oh, great," he muttered, crawling back under the duvet. "I hope you're the bloody victim..."

No, but honestly, I couldn't believe it either - but it's true! I'm in it!!! No, really!!!! I'm in All The Colours of Darkness. How cool is that???

The female detective, Annie, is reading one of my books!!!! She's had a nightmare about a particularly gruesome case and needs something to take her mind off the horrors - and it says "... she'd woken, crying, drenched in sweat, at about half past two and been unable to get back to sleep. After making a cup of tea, finding some quiet music on the radio and reading her latest Christina Jones novel for an hour or so, she felt much calmer and finally fell asleep just as the sun was coming up."

How brilliant is that???? I'm immortalised in someone else's novel! And not just any old someone's - but my favourite author's!!! And how lovely to think my bucolic frolics can help to soothe a hard-bitten detective inspector even if she is fictional!!!

There's not much else I can say in this post really - except to highly recommend Peter's books if you like well-written nail-biting Brit crime novels - and to say that DI Annie is clearly a girl of impeccable literary tastes...

The rest of the day is going to be spent de-traumatising the cats and trying to save my marriage. But I'm still beaming from ear to ear. Thanks Peter - you're a star!


Jayne said...

Oh wow! That's fantastic Christina!!! I can't imagine how you must have felt reading that, what an amazing surprise. I'd suggest a nice bottle of wine for this evening? To numb the toe at least? How many times have you re-read the page so far today? hehehe

Christina Jones said...

mummy - I've photocopied THAT page and got it stuck on the wall in front of my desk. And I emailed Peter Robinson to say thanks so much - went all gushy and star-struck because I've never emailed an author before (well, not one I don't know through being a writer, I mean) - and he replied (!!!) and said his wife loves my books - and now we've formed a mutual admiration society!!!

Jayne said...

Hurray!! And it's all the sweeter for knowing he's a nice bloke to boot....and his wife obviously has impeccable taste in books! lol

Christina Jones said...

mummy - half of me now wants to meet Peter and his wife to say thank you - the sensible half of me KNOWS I'd go tongue-tied and blush and burble - so possibly we'll just leave it in the ether...