Long before I was a professional novelist, my mother insisted that one day she’d be riding on a train and a fellow-traveller would be reading one of my books. It would be nice to be able to report that it happened. In fact it never did – possibly because for the last thirty years of her life she never went anywhere by train.
But last year something comparable occurred. A friend was travelling in the Far East when she came across a copy of “Deadly Virtues” in a second-hand bookshop in Manila. Obscurely pleased and touched, I offered to sign it for her. “Oh, I didn’t buy it,” she said airily. “I thought I’d get a copy off you.”
All the characters in “Other Countries” are figments of my imagination, except for one. Patience is in (almost) all particulars my last dog Grace, whose photograph has figured in some of the reviews. Of course she couldn’t actually talk – but then, she could make her feelings perfectly clear with just the tilt of an eyebrow.
I sometimes go to my Yorkshire bowtop wagon “Tara” to write.
Jo Bannister’s latest title, Other Countries, is available now in hardcover and eBook. Visit our website for more information.