Monday, June 22, 2020

Devil's Garden

It should be an exciting time when a new book comes out, and of course it is, but when the bookstores are shut and the launch party has to be cancelled, it kind of takes the fun out of it. Still, the good thing is that Devil's Garden is a real book now, with a good cover, and there have been readers out there waiting for it.

There is one other good thing – I won't have to talk at the launch party. Usually I positively enjoy doing talks, but this one's different.

Once I realised that this was a very significant part of being a writer, I more or less consciously developed a public persona. When I'm on the stage on a panel, or doing a talk at a festival, or in a library, I'm Aline Templeton, Author. When I'm among my family and friends, I'm just Aline and they're two different people.

At a book launch, I'm struggling with a split personality. It makes me feel self-conscious, and I find it really, really difficult. Having one of your relatives asking probing questions about how you did this or that (in a nice way, I hasten to say) it somehow feels terribly pretentious to answer as you would to a reader you'd never met before.

I'd love just to read from the book – I've always enjoyed reading aloud – but that's definitely seen as cheating. People want to hear about the inspiration for the book and usually I simply don't know what to say.

It's galling that this time I'd have known exactly what I could say. This time, the title was its inspiration. Devil's gardens are found in the Amazon rainforest. It's a symbiotic relationship between a type of tree and a type of ant. The tree provides food and shelter for the ant and the ant produces a poison that kills off all other plants round about so that the tree can thrive.

This relationship is reflected in the book, where a world-famous author is protected by her closest friend whose life has been dedicated to preventing anything from harming her, and her Brand. She can't do that, though, when it comes to the ugly secret they both share because it's known to one other, very threatening person – but they don't know who. They live in the Borders of Scotland and just at the hour of maximum danger the Beast from the East arrives – a violent snowstorm that paralyzed Britain for several days.

It's my third DCI Kelso Strang novel and I've really enjoyed writing more about him and the chippy DC Livvy Murray who is now mostly able to control her wilder ideas.  Mostly.

Of course, I'm now well into the next book, and now the last book is looming over it.– You see it's a real book, with nice layout and proper covers and all, whereas this new one is just files in a computer. How can it possibly match up?

I go through this every time.  Sometimes I wonder why we do it!


Tanya said...

Congratulations on the new book! I had never heard of a devil's garden before. Sort of an amazing and frightening phenomenon rolled into one! I'm looking forward to checking out your series.

Aline Templeton said...

Thanks so much, Tanya. Hope you enjoy the books.

Rick Blechta said...

You have certainly piqued my interest, Aline!

I am preordering a copy!