It’s weird being asked to write articles and do interviews about my novel The Dark Palace. It’s seems a lifetime ago since I wrote it. (Well, it was all of six months ago.)
Weird, because when you’re writing a novel, you’re deeply immersed in it.
You hear the characters talk in your head. You walk down the same streets as them, imagining yourself in their shoes, inside their overcoats, and even under their skin.
You shelter from an imaginary rain in long-demolished doorways; or, more likely, doorways that never existed, eavesdropping on snatches of conversation that were never voiced.
You try to catch the steamy smell of the cafes they linger in. You stare out of night-black windows, hoping to catch their reflection staring back at you.
And when you’re not doing any of that, you wrestle with knotty plot problems. Chase down elusive historical details. Worry away at words, lines, sentences.
It’s all you think about. Even when you’re watching TV, or twittering away time you don’t have online.
Then when it’s finished, somehow that fictional universe which you’ve lived inside so intensely vanishes like a popped bubble.
And you find it hard to even remember your characters’ names.