This really isn’t something that I struggle with usually – the balance tends to be more just deciding which ideas to focus on in my writing time. I do know, however, the blankness of having no idea of where to start – here are five of the places that I get inspiration:
The Church of Marvels, a circus of fantastical tricks and flourishes, burns to the ground, with owner and mother of Odile and Belle inside. Belle disappears, and Odille sets off from Coney Island to New York to find her – and many secrets. Meanwhile, ostracised, hairy night soiler Sylvan finds a baby, and Alphie finds herself forcibly and wrongfully put into a mental asylum. Secrets and discoveries abound as the stories weave together and the past pulls together to form a new present.
I was very excited to read this book, and even more so because I also got to interview the author! How fun! It was gripping and interesting, bringing alive characters and settings that I had never even heard of before, all bizarre and extreme in their experiences and stories. I had been hoping for something as good as The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and it wasn’t that good – I wasn’t totally pulled in, and would have liked to have seen some more of the circus – but it was a magnificent nevertheless.
New York, 1895. A night soiler finds a baby in a privy. A circus burns to the ground. A sword-swallower disappears. A wife who is not all she pretends to be is put in a lunatic asylum. A twin searches for her sister. Dramatic scenes and events conspire to bring the spiralling plots closer and closer…
This was a marvellous cacophony of dramatic, interweaving and deeply personal stories of people on the edges of or hiding behind society; tied together by human longing for love, family and for home. It explores so many identities, settings, twists and ideas that I’m struggling to find any meaningful way to depict it quickly. I did very much enjoy it! I’ll be reviewing it soon, but after reading I got the chance to ask author Leslie Parry some questions!
Here they are: