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Sadie Jones at the Wimbledon Bookfest

It was a rotten Wednesday evening to be dragged out on: dark by six o’clock and relentlessly wet. The whole population of London had simulatiously forgotten how to drive and parking in Wimbledon Town centre – well, you could forget it! As I stood at the door of Waterstones on ticket collection duty, it seemed that several people who had pre-booked had thought better of it. What a shame for them. Watching Penny Vincenzi interview Sadie Jones was rather like eavesdropping on a private conversation between two authors, an almost guilty pleasure. I found myself nodding in agreement throughout. I liked how Sadie told of her reluctance to write the final scene for Small Wars because her first novel, Outcast, had also ended with a church service. I enjoyed her obvious affection and almost motherly concern for her characters, her reference to them as real people – people she had to drag herself away from for the school run each day. How Hal ruined her many hours of meticulous plotting because he did not behave in quite the way she had predicted. There were the tortures of writing, but also the great pleasures: the tinkering stages, the small details. Because, as Penny pointed out, as writers we can even control the weather.