I’ve written a series of six articles about inspiration for Writing Magazine. In the current issue (March) on page 25 it’s all about choosing random books to see what you can learn from them. Each time I visit the library I pick up a book at random and, so far, there hasn’t been a single one I’ve not read. There was one set in early Victorian times where a foundling, a baby girl, was brought up as a boy in order to be heir to an estate - a novel I can only describe as being slightly mad yet thoroughly enjoyable. (I wish I’d written these titles and authors’ names down.)
Then there was one about a young man who lost his love to Jack The Ripper and wanted to change time so that they could be reunited. It involved H G Wells’s time machine which was real and which HG kept in his attic. I’d say this one was steampunk and I shall be looking for more in the genre.
The latest, and one whose title and author I remember because the book hasn’t been returned yet, is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It’s described as a fantasy novel. Normally I would avoid fantasy. Apparently the author originally started it when entering NaNoWriMo. It’s all about a magical circus, which only opens after dark and where everything is in black or white – the tents, the entertainers clothes… This circus moves about, never advertises its whereabouts, everything about it is beautiful and magical and the place is a venue for a magical fight. Oh, and there’s a love story woven in too. This is a circus I would want to run away with. I’m not going to say any more because, if you decide to read it, then I’d hate to spoil it for you. The Night Circus is classed as fantasy. I don’t like fantasy, or at least I thought I didn’t. If you don’t like fantasy either I urge you to make this an exception. It’s weird and wonderful.
It’s surprising that when I approach a random shelf to pick out a random book, the weird ones leap into my hands.