Apologies for being MIA last week. I’ve been finishing up my first round of edits for ACID, and was in the deepest, darkest recesses of the revisions cave with only my survival kit for company. But I’m nearly done now. What will I do with myself when they’re sent off? Hmm. Tackling my TBR pile might be a good idea – if it gets any bigger, it's going to need a risk assessment. I should probably hoover, too…
Anyway, on with today’s post!
I’m fascinated by coincidences – the way seemingly random things can turn out to be connected. Perhaps this is why I’m drawn to writing fiction, as plots are all about patterns and connections (and yes, sometimes you can have coincidences in there too, although you can’t get away with too many).
I say seemingly random, though, because what if they aren’t?
For example, I grew up in an environmental studies centre in the south-east of England. Back in the 18th century, it was a private house, and it was here that the novelist Fanny Burney, described by Virginia Woolf as ‘The mother of English fiction’, met her husband.
What about Virginia Woolf herself? Her husband, Leonard, had a sister called Bella (coincidentally, a writer too)… who was married to one of my ancestors.
And then there’s Jane Austen (who can also be connected back to Fanny Burney, as she took the title of Pride and Predjudice from the final pages of Burney’s Cecelia). The environmental studies centre I grew up in was just a short distance from a place called Box Hill, which features in a scene in Austen’s famous novel Emma. Which is why, when I was born, my parents decided to call me Emma.
So, three hugely influential writers, all connected to each other in some way, and all with a connection to me, also a writer (although I’ll get back to you on the influential part). And before I decided I wanted to be an author, I had no idea about any of them. You could call it coincidence, but sometimes, it makes me wonder if becoming a writer was something that was always meant to happen.
What about you? Do you have any connections like this? I’d love to hear about them!